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Harlem Globetrotters to Adam Silver: Make us an NBA franchise now

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For nearly a century, the Harlem Globetrotters have existed alongside the NBA. While both products are viewed differently, there's no doubt the Globetrotters have had an impact and influence on the league and its players.

The Globetrotters wants the NBA to acknowledge that connection, telling NBA commissioner Adam Silver it is time for the NBA to make the Globetrotters an official NBA franchise. 

The team wrote a letter to the league Tuesday, explaining why Silver should grant the move

The letter credits the Globetrotters with bringing "the street game inside." It also notes that when the NBA decided to integrate, the league took players from the Globetrotters instead of making the team an NBA franchise. It also points out the international reach of the Globetrotters. The team has played in 122 countries, helping introduce the world to basketball.

The letter then states that the NBA can no longer ignore the Globetrotters before telling Silver it is time to make the team an NBA franchise.

"So, if you really believe what you've been saying about social justice, going back to “normal” needs to look different. You can't just act like we don't exist anymore. It's time to right the wrongs and rewrite history. It's time for the NBA to honor what the Globetrotters have done for OUR sport, both here in the U.S. and around the globe.

"Based on what we've already proven, we can field a team of talent on par with the pros of today, and we want the chance to do that. As a world renowned and legendary professional basketball team, we petition Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA governors and the powers that be to grant The Original Harlem Globetrotters an NBA franchise. Not now, but right now!"

The Globetrotters have faced off against an NBA team twice. The team played the Minnesota Lakers in 1948 and 1949, before the NBA was integrated. The Globetrotters won both games against the Lakers, who won the NBA championship in 1949. 

The Harlem Globetrotters wrote a letter to the NBA.
The Harlem Globetrotters want recognition from the NBA. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Will Silver make Globetrotters an NBA franchise?

Asking Silver to make the Globetrotters an NBA franchise is a big request, and likely not one that can be granted immediately. There's no indication the NBA is looking to add another team in the offseason.

In the future, however, the Globetrotters make an interesting case for being considered. The team undoubtedly has a history with the NBA, and its influence on the league can't be denied. 

If and when the NBA decides it is time to add more teams, Silver will have to consider the impact the Globetrotters have had on the NBA.

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