Though the HBO series Winning Time which dramatizes the peaks and valleys of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1980s has been a hit with audiences, former Lakers player, coach and GM Jerry West thinks it’s a miss.
Earlier this week, West publicly called for an apology from HBO for portraying him like a jerk. He even threatened to plead his case in front of the US Supreme Court, if necessary.
At least for now, West has one former Laker in his corner, the legendary point guard Magic Johnson. Though Johnson has not discussed the portrayal of West in the series specifically, he has come out to defend his former coach, extolling the “contribution” that West made to the organization.
According to Johnson, West led the “Showtime Lakers to 5 NBA championships.” He also had a major hand in bringing Kobe and Shaq to LA, Johnson insists.
NBA Championships, trading for Kobe, & working with Dr. Buss to bring Shaq to LA. Jerry helped develop us on the court as basketball players & off the court as men, a reason he remains close to a lot of former Lakers today, including me. The article is a must read!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 24, 2022
Meanwhile, HBO says it stands by its story. It insists that Winning Time is not a documentary and has not been advertised as such. Instead, it’s an interesting examination of a remarkable decade in Lakers history.
Even if West and the creators of the series never come to an agreement about this issue, West still has nine NBA championship rings — one as a player and eight as GM. Now that’s winning time.