Over the past few days, the Harlem Globetrotters have begun campaigning for an NBA franchise. Just today, they released an official statement on Twitter:
The statement is regarding a letter they sent to the NBA to negotiate a deal to give the Globetrotter a new NBA franchise. In the letter, they talk about the Globetrotters' historical significance.
Long before the NBA, the Globetrotters had black men in America playing basketball. When the NBA finally did see its first black players, they were former Globetrotters. The Globetrotters also helped spread the game worldwide and have been a big part of the worldwide popularity of basketball.
The Globetrotters organization believes this is a good reason to give them a franchise in the NBA. Whether Adam Silver and the NBA will agree remains to be seen.
This comes at a time when the NBA is heavily considering expansion. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the league and its teams extremely hard financially. A two-team expansion could help offset those financial losses. Some cities that have been considered are Seattle and Las Vegas. Vancouver, Montreal, and Mexico City are options for the league to expand further out of the United States.
It seems unlikely that the Globetrotters one day become an NBA franchise. They would theoretically be based in New York, a city that already has two NBA teams. But the points they bring up surrounding their historical significance are valid, and maybe the NBA should find a different way to recognize that.
The NBA has not responded to this situation so far, but it will be interesting to see what they say if they do. It will also be important to watch the NBA's decision surrounding expansion, as it's something that could happen sooner rather than later considering the leagues' financial situation.