Louis Herman "Red" Klotz (born October 21, 1921) is a former NBA point guard with the original Baltimore Bullets, who is best known for forming the teams that play against and tour with the Harlem Globetrotters: the Washington Generals and the New York Nationals.
Klotz was born in Philadelphia on October 21, 1921, where he attended South Philadelphia High School. He led the school team to city basketball championships in 1939 and 1940, both times earning Philadelphia Player of the Year honors.
After attending Villanova University and serving in World War II, Klotz played one season for the Baltimore Bullets, getting into 11 games and scoring 15 points. He also played in six playoff games, scoring six points.
Klotz later coached and managed the Sphas. In 1953 after playing on several all-star teams on the Trotters' first international tours, Abe Saperstein, owner of the Globetrotters, approached Klotz about having his team tour with the Globetrotters and play them on a regular basis. He named his new enterprise the Washington Generals. From 1953 until 1995, the Generals played exhibitions against the Globetrotters, winning only two games and only one recognized by the Trotters, the last in 1971, and losing more than 14,000. Klotz played with the team as a point guard until the age of 68, and at 50 years old hit the game winning shot for the New Jersey Reds with 3 seconds left in their final win. "The crowd wanted to kill me", he said.
In 1995 Klotz "disbanded" the Generals and formed the New York Nationals to take their place, to erase their record and "change their luck". The team remained the Nationals until 2007, when they reverted to the "Generals" name. The Generals remain a separate organization from the Globetrotters. Klotz claims the team still tries to win every game.
Klotz was inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. He became the first non-Globetrotter to receive the Globetrotters' "Legend" award on March 10, 2007 Red has stated he has lost over 13,000 games in his coaching career.
In 2009 the Philadelphia Sportswriter's Association presented Red with the "Living Legend" award, previously given to such Philadelphia notables as Robin Roberts, Chuck Bednarik, Harry Kalas and Wilt Chamberlain.
The Globetrotters inducted Klotz into their Legends Ring, the team's version of a Hall of Fame, in 2007. He was and remains the first non-Trotter so honored. Two years later, the Trotters and Generals retired Red's number 3 jersey and raised a banner honoring him to the rafters at the Wells Fargo Center in Red's hometown of Philadelphia.
Red's biography, "The Legend of Red Klotz: How Basketball's Loss Leader Won Over the World, 14,000 Times" was published in November, 2013.
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- http://web.archive.org/web/20040404182836/http://www.jrn.columbia.edu/studentwork/cns/2004-03-15/543.asp Columbia New Service, March 15, 2004
- "The Generals have changed their name from time to time, being known as the Boston Shamrocks, Baltimore Rockets, Atlantic City Seagulls, and the New Jersey Reds.". Sports Illustrated. March 16, 2006. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- What ever happened to the Washington Generals Harlemglobetrotters.com
- "Harlem Globetrotters Web Site FAQ". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on July 2, 2007. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- "Klotz". Harlemglobetrotters.com.ismmedia.com. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- Crothers, Tim. "The General Whose Army Never Wins," Sports Illustrated, February 20, 1995
- Branch, John. "When the Generals Lose to the Globetrotters, Everyone Wins," The New York Times, Friday, February 13, 2009
- "The Winningest Loser", South Jersey Magazine, June 2008.