EXCLUSIVE: There’s a big series coming up for the Los Angeles Lakers, and LeBron won’t crack the starting lineup. The Los Angeles Media Fund and the Lakers are teaming up with Haven Entertainment to produce a five-episode docu-series focusing on the ’80s Showtime era of the storied basketball team. That was the period when Pat Riley coached the run and gun style distinguished by Magic Johnson’s passing and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring and shot blocking, with Jamaal Wilkes, James Worthy, Byron Scott, and Michael Cooper backing them up. Courtside, celebs like Jack Nicholson turned The Forum into the town’s hottest ticket and the team won five NBA titles and waged an unbelievable rivalry with Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics. The series will be directed by Kristopher Belman (More Than A Game) and financed by Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman’s Los Angeles Media Fund.
“The Lakers are one of the most storied franchises in the NBA – but ‘Showtime’ holds a special place in the hearts of our fans and this city we’re proud to call home,’” said Jeanie Buss, Lakers co-owner/CEO. “We are excited to partner with Los Angeles Media Fund and Haven Entertainment to produce this documentary series, celebrating that era, its stars and its unique buzz. I can’t wait to watch!”
Soros and Horsman are producing. They sparked to “the opportunity to partner with one of the world’s great sports franchises in producing a series documenting such a fascinating period in its history. What also appealed to us about this project was director Kris Belman’s and producer Kevin Mann’s creative vision, which will incorporate the larger canvas of Los Angeles and beyond through this period.”
Mann is producing for Haven Entertainment, and called the Showtime Lakers “one of the great American stories in both sports and cultural history. The Buss family and Magic Johnson changed the faces of both Los Angeles and the NBA, and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to bring this fascinating, expansive and largely untold story to life.”
Lakers’ Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel Dan Grigsby negotiated the deal on behalf of the Lakers’ organization. Los Angeles Media Fund is represented by WME and Stephen Monas of Business Affairs advised on the deal. Haven Entertainment is represented by Ronald Levin of Levin Law Corp. The deal was brokered by Endeavor Content which is also handling worldwide sales for the project.