Yet another NBA season is well under way, and once again St. Louis sits on the bench in a stylish suit, holding a stack of clean towels to hand out to the big-league cities, waiting for a professional basketball franchise of our own. Really, though, do we want an NBA team? Oh sure, the chance to see LeBron or 'Melo a few times a year would be sweet. But the rest? Overpaid, underskilled malcontents mugging for SportsCenter, killing time until the Lakers win another title. No thanks. For a taste of how basketball should be played, check out the Harlem Globetrotters at 3 p.m. at Savvis Center (14th at Clark streets, 314-241-1888, $13 to $100). Naturally, you'll see the comedy hijinks and jaw-dropping moves that made them famous and made you look like a dork when you tried them out on the playground -- really, did you need to roll the ball from the end of one arm to the end of the other before you made that lay-up? -- but these guys have become serious competitors. On their college tour this fall, they went 7-1, including a victory over defending national champs Syracuse. Credit owner Mannie Jackson for the resurgence. He's put together a group of spectacular athletes who not only love to play, but who love to play for their fans. You won't get that from the Portland Trail Blazers. -- Ian Froeb
We Want Monkey
Those funky monkeys
Everyone loves a clown, according to the old song, but the truth is, people are scared of clowns; everyone actually loves a monkey. They're cute, they're smart, and they don't wear pants -- what's not to love? Monkeys are so beloved that they have an entire year of the Chinese calendar devoted to their greatness, and 2004 is one of those years. The Magic House (516 South Kirkwood Road, 314-822-8900) celebrates simian superiority with Monkey Madness. Artist Jimmy Liu will be on hand to help kids (and monkey-lovin' adults) create monkey-themed memorabilia. Here's a tip for the fashion-forward: Wear gloves on your feet. It gives you the appearance of having "monkey feet," and it looks cool too. Admission to the Magic House is $6, and there's no charge for the additional monkey business. -- Paul Friswold
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