A rollicking romp with 1980s LA Lakers
HBO released a trailer for the highly anticipated drama “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” and it has all the of the over-the-top hallmarks of the decadent 1980s: fast cars, scantily clad ladies, fur coats and tussles with Larry Bird.
The nearly two-minute video teases a rollicking romp through the Lakers’ iconic Showtime era, which was known for championship rings, Hollywood bacchanals, the creation of enduring league rivalries and turning games into a glitzy entertainment spectacle.
Premiering in March 2022 on HBO Max, the 10-episode series is based on the Jeff Pearlman book “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.” The network described it as “a fast-break series chronicling the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties — a team that defined an era, both on and off the court.”
And it has a glittering cast to match. Playing the colorful Lakers owner Jerry Buss is John C. Reilly, with Quincy Isaiah as transformative player Earvin “Magic Motherf–king” Johnson, as he is referred to in the teaser. Other stars include Sally Field as Jessie Buss, Adrian Brody as a mustached Pat Riley and Jason Segel as Paul Westhead.
The series, directed and executive produced by Adam McKay, also led to major drama off the set. The “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” director and frequent Will Ferrell collaborator said the project ended his friendship with the funnyman after he cast Reilly instead of his pal as Dr. Buss.
“The truth is, the way the show was always going to be done, it’s hyperrealistic. And Ferrell just doesn’t look like Jerry Buss, and he’s not that vibe of a Jerry Buss. And there were some people involved who were like, ‘We love Ferrell, he’s a genius, but we can’t see him doing it.’ It was a bit of a hard discussion,” McKay told Vanity Fair.
McKay, 53, admitted that he dealt with it improperly and the pair haven’t spoken since, saying, “I f–ked up on how I handled that.”