One win 17,000 defeats life as a Washington General
No basketballer has dared to repeat the feat Louis Herman Klotz accomplished on January 5, 1971.
The man known as Red broke one of the most sacred unwritten rules in sport in front of a disbelieving audience in Martin, Tennessee. In his role as player-coach for the Washington Generals, Klotz shot the winning basket against the Harlem Globetrotters.
The Globetrotters will never be beaten by the Generals.
As jeers rang around the university gym, Klotz would claim, “they looked at us like we had just killed Santa.”.
Over the past 50 years, the Globetrotters have been ruthless in their revenge. Their showboating has won them victory at the expense of hapless Generals who have never again beaten their illustrious foes.
The green jerseys of the Generals are booed, ridiculed, and dunked on during defeat, after defeat, after defeat, as opposed to the universal adulation enjoyed by the Globetrotters.
There are few sporting commodities more rare than the underdog. Why would anyone want to play for the Washington Generals?
I had the time of my life playing with this team,” recalls Antoine Maddox, a Generals shooting guard from 2007 to 2010. It is an honor to travel with one of the most famous teams in the world.
Maddox first encountered the Washington Generals during a career placement day at his high school in LaGrange, Georgia. Maddox was given the opportunity to shadow ‘Sweet’ Lou Dunbar, the legendary Harlem Globetrotter, after he told his teachers he wanted to be a basketball player. It wouldn’t be long before the eager schoolboy was chasing Globetrotters shadows.
Maddox recalls looking at the Washington Generals at a game and thinking: “Man, I wonder how those guys got that job.”
When he was recruited at a post-college combine, he’d find out soon enough. Often, NBA stars are discovered at these open trials, though many players attend with more modest hopes of finding a professional career overseas. Generals scouts are looking for those left behind.
Maddox, who now works for a Californian tech company, says he still had some aspirations to play pro football. I figured at least I’d be traveling and maybe I’d get the chance to meet some other teams.”