Ever wish basketball had a four-point line? You know, for those really deep shots? The hoops tricksters from the Harlem Globetrotters are willing to implement any number of new rules during their upcoming tour, which includes an early spring date here in Portland.
The Globetrotters, as most everyone knows, have been performing basketball-related comedy and stunts around the world for years, regularly trouncing a traveling team of foils, who are otherwise decent ballplayers who I’ve been told are legitimately — but embarrassingly unsuccessfully — trying to keep up. The foil team, most people are surprised to know, has beaten the Globetrotters six times (and lost on tens of thousands of other occasions).
So anyway, if you go online now, in advance of the Globetrotters’ upcoming tour, you can even the odds a little bit. Among the gimmick rules you can force them to play under is a numbers handicap — allowing the Globetrotters’ opponents to play six men on the court compared to Harlem’s five.
Or you can vote for a rule that puts two balls in play on the court, or another one implementing a hockey-style penalty box.
Then, when the Globetrotters bring their show to the Cumberland County Civic Center on March 24 (tickets are on sale now for $13 a pop through Ticketmaster or the team website), you can sit back and see what basketball looks like with a few changes in the books. Maybe if it works out, the NBA will let us tweak some things the following season…