Dunbar: 'We want (Johnny) as a 'trotter'

June, 24, 2014
Jun 24
3:55
PM ET
The cackle broke through the phone, and sounded as if Sweet Lou Dunbar were dribbling at midcourt with the ball an inch off the court.

The player personnel director of the Harlem Globetrotters (and former Globetrotter legend himself) thoroughly enjoyed the attention related to the Cleveland Browns' drafting of Johnny Manziel.

“That was a good one, wasn't it?” Dunbar said after cackling at the mention of Manziel. “What’d you think about that?”

[+] EnlargeSweet Lou Dunbar
Getty ImagesHarlem Globetrotters executive Sweet Lou Dunbar says the team is willing to work around Johnny Manziel's football schedule.
Told he had a reporter on the phone talking to him about it, Dunbar laughed even more.

Thing is, the idea wasn't entirely a publicity ploy -- if Manziel wants to give up the idea of playing quarterback for the Browns, the Globetrotters have their arms ready to embrace him. And it would not be with the Washington Generals.

“We want him as a 'trotter,” Dunbar said. “We got the jersey all ready for him.”

The reason was obvious.

“Johnny Manziel speaks for itself,” Dunbar said. “The kid’s a great athlete. He’s already become a great entertainer. That’s what the Harlem Globetrotters are, great athletes and entertainers. He’s six feet, and he can he get up. I saw that film of him dunking. He's got some 'ups.'"

Dunbar would even think about taking Manziel as a part-time player.

"That’d be something to consider,” Dunbar said, the cackle resounding again. “You gotta realize we are marketing a team and Johnny is a good name to market.”

The next step for Manziel and the other draftees, which included college players and Landon Donovan, the U.S. soccer player left off the World Cup team? A minicamp in Wildwood, New Jersey, on Aug. 7.

Dunbar admits the timing might not be the best for Manziel, given he’s "in the midst of his football time," so he’s willing to be flexible.

"Sometimes there are special exceptions,” Dunbar said. “We could hold another minicamp somewhere else and get him in there.”

He wasn't kidding, either.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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