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Harlem Globetrotters 

When: Fri., Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m. 2008
Phone: 510-625-TIXS
Price: $17-$150
www.ticketmaster.com
The Harlem Globetrotters have been around a long time - they were founded in 1926 - but even the longest-running franchises eventually get stale without a jolt of high-powered marketing. 21st-century hoops enthusiasts don't get quite the same kick they used to from watching the "Sweet Georgia Brown" warm-up routine, and most of today's fans have never heard of Goose Tatum or Meadowlark Lemon or Marques Haynes. But they do recognize that Mannie Jackson, a onetime Globetrotter and now chairman and majority owner of the team, is the first African-American former player to own a major sports organization. And they know Dennis Rodman when they see him. The former NBA superstar and world-class hot dog recently appeared at a stunt-filled press conference to announce that he and his Bad-Boy All Star Team will take on the Trotters in Las Vegas on February 17 as part of the 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend.

But before that happens, the Trotters' Nothing Like It World Tour takes them to the ORACLE Arena in Oakland for a Friday-night split-squad game. Lest you scoff, the Globetrotters' stats charts show that before the 2007 season they had amassed a record of more than 21,500 wins against only 343 losses. True, they played such chumps-of-the-week teams as the Washington Generals, but they also regularly tangle with good college teams and various all-star squads. Nobody wants to lose to the Trotters, but most do. Even the B team. The Globetrotters, led by forward Eugene "Killer" Edgerson (Arizona), step on the ORACLE court at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $17.14-$21.90-$26.67-$57.14-$142.86 from HarlemGlobetrotters.com

— Kelly Vance

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