You could say that Shawn Faust is a professional loser. As a player and coach of the Washington Generals, the Harlem Globetrotters' opponents, he hasn't known the thrill of victory a single time in his five years on the squad. In fact, the last time the Generals upset the Globetrotters was in 1971, before Faust was even born. He and the rest of the team will try three times at their stop at the Target Center to disrupt the Globetrotters' record of more than 22,500 wins (and 345 losses) in over 80 years.
CP: The Globetrotters claim that the games are real and competitive, but they've only lost 345 games in 81 years. Can you understand why fans are skeptical when they're told that the games are competitive?
SF: The last time we won was in 1971. The Globetrotters have their entertainment stuff, and they do their tricks, and that's what they do. But they are good basketball players, too. We do go at it, and we play, too. We're out to make shots and try to beat them. I've been around five years and never missed a shot on purpose or anything like that. So we do play, they just have good, talented players. Hopefully one of these times we'll bring it and maybe get that win.
CP: Does losing ever get old?
SF: I'm a competitive guy, and nobody likes to lose. I think that all the losses I've taken over my five years, and the losses the newer guys are getting right now, will definitely go away if we do get that one win. Hopefully, it's coming soon. Really though, it's all about the experience. We get to travel everywhere. We're going all over the United States, and all over the world. I've been to all 50 states and I've been to over 60 countries. So that's another priceless experience that comes with it. I think that all that outweighs all the losses.
CP: But you'd figure even a good team like the Globetrotters would lose more often. Why is it so hard for the Generals to beat them?
SF: That's a good question. In all my years, we've come close. We've gone after it, but we just keep coming up short for some reason. You know, I'm a basketball guy too, and it's as real as it gets. We just go out and play hard every night. Tonight might be that night. You never know.
Watch the Generals try their damnedest in three games this weekend at the Target Center.
April 11-12, 7 p.m.; Sat., April 12, 1 p.m., 2008