NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The most one-sided rivalry in sports history has come to an unceremonious end.
The Harlem Globetrotters have ditched the Washington Generals, severing a partnership that lasted 63 years.
“All great rivalries come to an end, and as we get set to celebrate our 90th anniversary, we are excited to take on a new opponent,” Sweet Lou Dunbar, one of the Globetrotters’ coaches, said in a statement to ESPN.com. “We are looking forward to building a new great rivalry as we entertain families worldwide for years.”
The Generals beat the Globetrotters in 1971 — their one and only victory against the acrobatic entertainment troupe. Washington general manager John Ferrari estimated that his team lost at least 16,000 games. Its final defeat was Aug. 1 in New Jersey.
“I got a call about a month ago, and they just told me that that was it,” Ferrari said. “I turned to my wife and just said to her, in disbelief, ‘It’s over.'”
Joe Posnanski of NBC Sports was first to report the split.
“I wasn’t angry, and I’m not angry now,” Ferrari told Posnanski. “I want to make that clear. I was definitely surprised and I’m certainly sad. But it’s been a wonderful relationship with the Globetrotters. (Generals founder) Red (Klotz) absolutely loved the Globetrotters. I’ve loved the Globetrotters. My wife, Jody, has loved the Globetrotters. There’s no anger. It ended sooner than we thought. But we cherish the memories.”