Former Harlem Globetrotter Curly Neal prefers no-bull basketball.

"I'll never forget the game we played in a bullfighting arena in Barcelona, Spain," he said. "First they had the bullfight, then we played."Organizers forgot the portable hoops, so they improvised with peach baskets and no backboards.

"They just drew lines in the dirt. And remember, the bulls had just left the floor. There was still some bull left out there. It was a smelly situation."

Neal was in Arkansas this week to promote a New Year's Eve visit by the trick-shooting basketball team.

He played for the Globetrotters between 1963 and 1985. Now he serves as the team's advance man.

He had the honor of playing on the last Globetrotters team to lose a game. In 1971, the team lost, 100-99, to the New Jersey Reds.

View Comments

"We were entertaining the crowd, not paying attention to the score," he said. "All of a sudden, there's two minutes to play and we're down by 12. We had to start playing straight basketball."

But it was too late.

"The kids were sick. They were crying, `Why did you lose?' I just said, `They just made more baskets than we did.' "

Since then, the Globetrotters have won nearly 7,000 straight games, most of them over the Washington Generals.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.