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Basketball

“The greatest game of basketball ever played”. At least that’s what Henry let slip at The Godfather premiere. It’s taken me more than 40 years to piece it all together. At first I dismissed it as an impossibility. I mean really, a Top-Secret, USA v China basketball game in front of Nixon and Mao, in Beijing, during the historic visit in ‘72. When I pressed Henry on it he went all national security on me. But there was a glint in his eye. I’m a sports writer and basketball nut, so the tantalising possibility of such a game has kept me intrigued for four decades. And when I thought about it, Henry certainly had the connections to pull it off. I’m not just talking about the trips to China, significant though they were. There was no doubt Henry was a world-class diplomat, but he was also a first-class schmoozer with impeccable showbiz connections. If anyone could arrange the Harlem Globetrotters, it was he. Henry’s second slip came in 1985 when he conceded Ron might have some Super 8 footage. I tried for years to get in to see the former Press Secretary, but with Watergate and all, Ron wasn’t returning calls.

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https://jeffreypburns.wordpress.com/nixon-mao-and-the-harbin-globetrotters-2/