After some recent close calls, the Harlem Globetrotters have decided to replace their standard opponent, the Washington Generals, with a more-easily defeated team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers have lost 25 consecutive games, including exhibition losses to three D-League teams, a Division II team and the Cleveland Heights YWCA, and are expected to provide a good comedic foil for the Globetrotters while not posing any threat to end Harlem's 30-year win streak.
"We just want to focus on entertaining our fans, without having to worry about possibly losing," said Globetrotters showman Big Easy Lofton. "The Generals were all about doing their best and almost winning and stuff, and we can't mess around with that. I've been watching clips of their games on SportsCenter. Wow. This is going to be so much fun."
Cleveland was once one of the best teams in the NBA, but with the departure of LeBron James to South Beach, the team has fallen to depths never before seen by an NBA team. Commissioner David Stern was considering relegating or possibly contracting the franchise before the offer from the Globetrotters came along. He accepted Harlem's offer of $300 and a signed Meadowlark Lemon poster for the team.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was reluctant about the move at first, but eventually agreed when informed that his team would be allowed to "compete" as hard as possible every night.
"I promised this city a championship before the so-called king, and beating the Globetrotters would give us the National Basketball Touring Teams Title — something I just made up right now," Gilbert said in a statement posted to his web site.
Despite the "compete" clause, the Globetrotters aren't worried.
"My guys are spending most of their time on four-point shots and confetti tosses," Trotters head coach Barry Hardy said. "I'm pretty sure as long as we show up for the fourth quarter, we'll take care of the Cavs."
While some Cavaliers players hope this will give them a shot at ending their record losing streak, others are less enthused.
"I know all about the Globetrotters," Cavs guard Daniel Gibson said. "They're really good at basketball. They can do some amazing tricks. Their point guard can dribble with his left hand! It's amazing!"