A New Game Puts the “Home” Back in Home-Court Advantage

Drop the ball at the local court and represent your city in The People's Games

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The People's Games is for athletes what "American Idol" is for singers, sans Steven Tyler's witticisms and creepy flirtations, Randy Jackson's street cred, Jennifer Lopez's imminent resurrection -- and the millions of viewers.

But the idea is similar: Give the shot of a lifetime to the little people. Take an Average Joe and make him a star.

According to The People's Games website: "It's an opportunity for real people...teachers, taxi drivers, policemen, janitors, waiters … to live out their dream of playing in a big time sporting event, representing their family, neighborhood, and city in pursuit of the thrill of victory."

The people running the first People's Games are scouring Los Angeles and New York City for residents who want to play basketball and represent their area in a best-of-three, west coast versus east coast faceoff.

Tryouts begin in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 13. If you're a professional player or you don't have a city of Los Angeles or New York City zip code -- in other words, sorry, suburbs -- you need not apply. Everyone else 18 and older can either show up in person or submit a one-minute, unedited video.

According to a news release, the New York Knicks' "Earl the Pearl" Monroe will coach the New York team, and Lucius Allen, who became an All-American playing for UCLA and went on to join the Lakers, will coach the Los Angeles team.

Armyan Bernstein, the chairman of the independent film company Beacon Pictures, is also the founder and chairman and producer of the People's Games; Terry Jastrow, who has produced and directed six Olympic games, is the commissioner and executive producer.

Unlike "American Idol," the games can be watched online for free.

Los Angeles City tryouts will take place in the following locations:

  •  Balboa Sports Complex: 17015 Burbank Blvd., Encino, CA 91316
  •  EXPO Center: 3980 S. Menlo Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90037
  •  Normandale Recreation Center: 22400 Halldale Ave., Torrance, CA 90501
  •  Pan Pacific Recreation Center: 7600 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
  •  Pecan Recreation Center: 145 S. Pecan St., Los Angeles, CA 90033
  •  Westwood Recreation Complex: 1350 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

You can register for The People's Games here.

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