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The Los Angeles Lakers fan base wouldn’t mind a distraction from the team’s current state of play … cue the latest HBO series to sweep the Emmy awards.
The first trailer for producer Adam McKay’s (director of Anchorman) sports series, “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” dropped, and gave a glimpse at the narrative set to follow the Lakers, head coach Pat Riley and legendary owner Dr. Jerry Buss’ during the early inception of the Showtime Lakers. The show will be based on Jeff Pearlman’s book, “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.”
Dr. Buss will be played by frequent McKay collaborator John C. Reilly, who reportedly replaced Will Ferrell for the role when early casting news was first underway.
One of the series’ main storylines stems from the team’s drafting of prolific point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson, along with the events that ensued en route for a storied dominance cemented in NBA history and the legacy of The Forum. Joining the all-time great in Kareem and aided by the prowess of coach Riley, Johnson and the Lakers became the No. 1 target of the Association and were the prime adversaries to KC Jones’ Boston Celtics team.
Per OutKick / Hoops Wire’s Sam Amico, “Those Lakers won five titles in a decade and featured the likes of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper and Kurt Rambis, with Pat Riley serving as coach.”
The 2021 Lakers, far from the storied ’80s-era team, sit at 13-13 in a Western Conference short on serious competition. Los Angeles is coming off a 108-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday night and faces an era of uncertainty with Anthony Davis’ inconsistent play and LeBron James‘ impending retirement.
By the time of the series’ premiere (Mar. 2022), a slice of Lakers history will already be in the rearview mirror as Los Angeles’ legendary venue, Staples Center, will be fully transitioned out of its revered name — scheduled to rebrand to Crypto.com Arena by the end of December.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela