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Mon Dec 28, 2015, 02:37 AM

Meadowlark Lemon, Harlem Globetrotter Who Played Basketball and Pranks With Virtuosity, Dies at 83

Source: New York Times

Meadowlark Lemon, Harlem Globetrotter Who Played Basketball and Pranks With Virtuosity, Dies at 83

By BRUCE WEBER
DECEMBER 28, 2015

Meadowlark Lemon, whose halfcourt hook shots, no-look behind-the-back passes and vivid clowning were marquee features of the feel-good traveling basketball show known as the Harlem Globetrotters for nearly a quarter-century, died on Sunday in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he lived. He was 83.

The death was confirmed by his wife, Cynthia Lemon.

A gifted athlete with an entertainerís hunger for the spotlight, Lemon, who dreamed of playing for the Globetrotters as a boy in North Carolina, joined the team in 1954, not long after leaving the Army. Within a few years, he had assumed the central role of showman, taking over from Reece Tatum, whom everyone called Goose, the Trottersí long-reigning clown prince. Tatum was a superb ballplayer whose on-court gags ó or reams, as the players called them ó had established the teamís reputation for laugh-inducing wizardry at a championship level.

This was a time, however, when the Trotters were known not merely for their comedy routines and basketball legerdemain; they were also a formidable competitive team. Their victory over the Minneapolis Lakers in 1948 was instrumental in integrating the National Basketball Association, and a decade later their owner, Abe Saperstein, signed a 7-footer out of the University of Kansas to a one-year contract before he was eligible for the N.B.A.: Wilt Chamberlain.

By then, Lemon, who was 6 feet 3 inches and slender, was the teamís leading light, such a star that he played center while Chamberlain played guard.

Read more: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/12/29/sports/basketball/meadowlark-lemon-harlem-globetrotter-who-played-basketball-and-pranks-with-virtuosity-dies-at-83.html

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Reply Meadowlark Lemon, Harlem Globetrotter Who Played Basketball and Pranks With Virtuosity, Dies at 83 (Original post)
Hissyspit Dec 2015 OP
Joe Shlabotnik Dec 2015 #1
murielm99 Dec 2015 #6
zalinda Dec 2015 #13
dembotoz Dec 2015 #20
Marty McGraw Dec 2015 #30
Phentex Dec 2015 #32
AgingAmerican Dec 2015 #2
exboyfil Dec 2015 #11
SusanCalvin Dec 2015 #14
exboyfil Dec 2015 #16
AgingAmerican Dec 2015 #22
underpants Dec 2015 #15
AgingAmerican Dec 2015 #19
underpants Dec 2015 #28
Frank Cannon Dec 2015 #29
underpants Dec 2015 #31
tabasco Dec 2015 #26
burrowowl Dec 2015 #3
Dr. Xavier Dec 2015 #4
Festivito Dec 2015 #5
BumRushDaShow Dec 2015 #7
handmade34 Dec 2015 #8
Scuba Dec 2015 #9
FailureToCommunicate Dec 2015 #10
AwakeAtLast Dec 2015 #12
trillion Dec 2015 #17
SoapBox Dec 2015 #18
dembotoz Dec 2015 #21
AgingAmerican Dec 2015 #23
mac56 Dec 2015 #24
Staph Dec 2015 #25
BeyondGeography Dec 2015 #27
msanthrope Dec 2015 #33
niyad Dec 2015 #34

Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 02:51 AM

1. Meadowlark Lemon...

So sad. As a little kid in the early 70's...


On a strange other note, why have the last 1/2 dozen posts been about people checking out before year end?!!

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Response to Joe Shlabotnik (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 05:01 AM

6. I think that sometimes

people who have become very frail and near death try to hang on through the holidays.

RIP, Meadowlark Lemon. I enjoyed your antics when I was a kid.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 08:51 AM

13. This is true

I read a book called 'Love, Medicine and Miracles' by Bernie Siegel, MD, who is a cancer doctor, (GREAT book, btw) said that many patients hang on until after an important event, ie. weddings, birthday, holidays, etc. This is one of the best books that I've ever read, even though the my cancer was just a scare. It even helped me with just living life.

Z

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Response to zalinda (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:09 AM

20. my mom hung on to die on my dad's birthday....he had died years ago so it was not a spite thing

doctors did not think she would last the weekend but dad's birthday was thursday and somehow she lasted...
Told the nurses my prediction and they all though i was nuts...should have put money on it....
i would have cleaned up.......

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 01:30 PM

30. A lot of times

it can be just the big meal served at the event. It's a lot of extra work for the heart to engine the body's means to digestion. And even more so laborious when salt is added to the mix.

on edit: seeing by what you mean with so many posted even today checking out; perhaps it's the fault of the leftovers. Our inspection standards are going by the way side and CountryOfOriginLaw is being nullified.

I say partially in jest, but do tend to note a lot of old timers do pay after a heavy meal and hitting the sack.

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Response to Joe Shlabotnik (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 04:26 PM

32. Loved him as a kid, too...

such a great experience to see them.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 03:06 AM

2. When we were kids

 

We had the Harlem Globetrotters, Eval Knievel, etc. I don't think they have the equivalent anymore. Times are just different now. Everything is corporate and packaged now.

I remember the Globetrotters would have specials on TV and everyone watched back then AND they were awesome basketball players as well as showmen! They always played the 'Washington Generals' if I remember right.

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Response to AgingAmerican (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 08:27 AM

11. Recently the Globetrotters broke their relationship

with the Washington Generals, and the Generals folded.
http://sportsworld.nbcsports.com/washington-generals-folding-harlem-globetrotters/

I remember my dad taking me to a Globetrotters game. Did not know much about them before that. The one thing that came to mind at the time was if the disorder (ie comedy) was appropriate in a competitive setting. I am not a huge basketball fan (was as a kid for the Lakers). I did admire the athleticism of the Globetrotters, and they did have a great comedy routine (especially first time as a kid not knowing what was in the bucket for example).

Followed Evil Knievel but I have no interest in death defying stunts now. Life is too precious. I really can't stand to watch boxing or MMA either. Would have no interest in high wire acts without a net either. Starting to get to this point with football as well.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 09:08 AM

14. So who are they going to play? nt

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Response to SusanCalvin (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 09:28 AM

16. Really good question

It seems you need a trained foil for the comedy. You won't get that with local club teams. Maybe a club team with a few trained "ringers"? Not sure I understand the decision to break the relationship with the Generals unless it is to bring more dollars into the Globetrotter organization. Perhaps rebuilding something like the Generals but directing more of the dollars towards the Globetrotters.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:18 AM

22. I hear ya

 

Now I probably wouldn't go out of my way for a lot of that stuff, but as a kid it was magical.

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Response to AgingAmerican (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 09:18 AM

15. Saw them live when I was 11. Front row seats.

Funny we had a conversation over the holidays about Wide World of Sports. Knievel, the Globetrotters, motorcycles on ice, figure 8 racing, and the Chinese acrobats. Watch cartoons in the morning - go outside and play - come in in the afternoon and watch Wide World of Sports. Oh and cliff diving in Acapulco which turns out was really just a tourism promotion.

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Response to underpants (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:05 AM

19. I remember barrel jumping on ice too

 

Wide World of sports always had crazy sports. Wide World showed many live Mohammad Ali fights, and live Knievel jumps too!

I remember my dad would always cringe out loud when they showed "The agony of defeat" on the intense intro.

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Response to AgingAmerican (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 12:41 PM

28. Vinko Bogataj

Wikipedia link on him

I remember reading and article in the early 90's about a reunion or party WWS had for an anniversary. Because he is Slovenian he hadn't been seen by anyone in the west until the wall fell. He was who everyone wanted to talk to in a room full of sports stars.

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Response to underpants (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 01:01 PM

29. I saw Vinko talk about that once.

He had absolutely no idea he was so well known in the US. Muhammad Ali asked for his autograph at that reunion!

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Response to Frank Cannon (Reply #29)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 03:12 PM

31. That's right.

Yes I remember that too. The crash looked terrible but he just got up and walked off.

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Response to AgingAmerican (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 12:17 PM

26. The Globetrotters were absolutely amazing.

 

I really couldn't believe it when I saw them on TV back in the 60s (?).

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 03:08 AM

3. RIP!

Always loved the Harlem Globe Trotters!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 03:18 AM

4. First Hendu and

now Meadowlark... sad day for all sports fans, supposedly two of the nicest, most gracious human beings, who ever donned a uniform. RIP, I smile through my tears. Thank you for being a bright part of my life. God Bless.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 04:34 AM

5. What a delight he was to watch! An ambassador of race, sport and fun.

He just made you feel good.

And, he changed the world, little by little, one by one, all for the better.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 06:24 AM

7. R.I.P. and thanks for the memories!

A little "Sweet Georgia Brown" for ya-

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 06:57 AM

8. oh

I remember well going to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the Lansing Civic Center so many years ago...

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 07:21 AM

9. Somewhere there's a kid trying a half-court hook shot to the rhythm of "Sweet Georgia Brown."

 

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 08:02 AM

10. My sons got to shoot some hoops with the Globetrotters a while back in Springfield, MA at the

Last edited Mon Dec 28, 2015, 08:53 AM - Edit history (1)

Basketball Hall of Fame. THe Globetrotters are such great ambassadors for the sport.

Rest in peace, Meadowlark.

Thank you for all your moves, and smiles!

http://www.hoophall.com/

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 08:41 AM

12. Wow, this made me sad

May he rest peacefully knowing how much joy he brought to so many young children, including me.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 09:29 AM

17. RIP.

 

I'm pretty sure he came to my grade school and I saw him and it was in the 70's.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 09:49 AM

18. RIP Meadowlark...

Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine kids say, thanks for the entertainment.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:13 AM

21. saw him and them when i was a kid

it was the year satchel page traveled with them

had no fricken idea who satchel was but my dad was way impressed

quite the showman

and medowlark was clearly the star of it

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:20 AM

23. A history of Meadowlark Lemon, The Harlem Globetrotters, and his Bucketeers.

 

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:37 AM

24. The greatest Globetrotter of them all.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:48 AM

25. I remember seeing the Globetrotters as a kid.

Courtside seats - Dad was a statistician for WVU basketball. Ball went out of bounds. Mom tossed it to Curly Neal. He tossed it back. She returned it. He tossed it back again. We still talk about when Mom played for the Globetrotters!


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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 12:36 PM

27. Wide World of Sports used to show them

Must see TV for all hoops fans of the era.

RIP, Lemon.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 05:13 PM

33. I was privileged to meet Mr. Lemon as a child. What a loss. nt

 

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 09:27 PM

34. requiescat in pace, your highness. I will always remember how kind and funny you were

when I had the privilege of meeting you.

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