by Adam Figman
While Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire revive professional basketball in New York City, Knicks legend Earl “The Pearl” Monroe will be assisting with the revival of subprofessional hoops in the Big Apple. Monroe is going to be coaching the New York squad in The People’s Games, a competition between residents of NYC and L.A. that provides participants with the chance to try out and, if chosen, represent their city in the competition.
Former NBA player Lucius Allen will be manning the sidelines for the Los Angeles team.
“The idea is to try to represent our cities,” Monroe said during a conference call last week. “What we’ve done is we have certain criteria for the people who are gonna come and try out for this team. One criteria is that the person be 18 years of age and older. The second is that they have never really played any kind of professional basketball at all. And the third criteria is that the person has to live in New York—not just Manhattan, but [any] of the boroughs as well”
The first tryout is this Sunday, March 13, at the the locations listed below. Afterward, 100 players will be invited back for a second tryout, which will take place on March 20, and 40 players will then be brought back for a third tryout on March 27. Twenty of those 40 will be selected to participate.
“The great thing about The People’s Games is that it gives people from all walks of life the opportunity to compete,” the former Knicks star said. “We’re talking about teachers, former high school All-Stars, lawyers, whatever the case may be. [People] who maybe didn’t have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams in representing their countries, their cities, or just their neighborhoods. Now we’re giving them that opportunity to come out and hopefully be able to represent New York in beating Los Angeles.
“You’ve got two guys who are coaching the teams, who are going to be competitive, and who were competitive when we played,” he continued. “And it’s all about bragging rights. We’ve got to be able to beat L.A., and what they call ‘La La Land.’ We’re just more hardcore, and that’s going to be our biggest advantage, that we’re used to playing under certain circumstances and conditions. I think we’ll just put it out on the floor and just run.”
Terry Jastrow, Commissioner of The People’s Games, said this is just the beginning of what will be a spreading enterprise.
“While The People’s Games is being launched as a basketball competition between the cities of New York and Los Angeles, it very definitely is about all major and popular sports. The first stage of the roll-out plan is to add soccer, baseball and football this year in the cities of New York and Los Angeles. Early next year, if not before, we plan on rolling it out to the 16 most populated cities in the United States.”
For more details or to register for Sunday’s tryout (the locations are below), hit up www.peoplesgame.com
- Bronx: St. Mary’s Recreation Center, 450 St. Ann’s Avenue, Bronx, NY 10454
- Brooklyn: St. John’s Recreation Center, 1251 Prospect Place, Brooklyn, NY 11213
- Manhattan: Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center, 80 Catherine Street, New York, NY 10038
- Queens: Al Oerter Recreation Center in Flushing, Queens 11355