The Showtime Lakers will take center stage in HBO’s upcoming series Winning Time: The Rise of The Lakers Dynasty, but that’s the extent of their involvement. During the series’ CTAM session on Tuesday series co-creator Max Borenstein addressed reports about the lack of cooperation from the Lakers themselves and the Buss family.
“We made this show as fans with a tremendous amount of respect and love for all these characters of the NBA and Lakers and I think it hopefully shows on screen. I can only imagine how strange it must be to have a movie made about your life, or show made about any aspect fo your life so I never presume what people will or won’t do but on our end this was made with great love and appreciation.”
“A deep appreciation,” echoed executive producer Rodney Barnes.
Set to debut Sunday, March 6 Winning Time is a ten-episode series about 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.
Winning Time stars John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Adrien Brody as Pat Riley, Gaby Hoffmann as Claire Rothman, Tracy Letts as Jack McKinney, Jason Segel as Paul Westhead, Julianne Nicholson as Cranny McKinney, Hadley Robinson as Jeanie Buss, DeVaughn Nixon as Norm Nixon, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tamera Tomakili as Earleatha “Cookie” Kelly, Brett Cullen as Bill Sharman, Stephen Adly Guirgis as Frank Mariani, Spencer Garrett as Chick Hearn, Sarah Ramos as Cheryl Pistono, Molly Gordon as Linda Zafrani, Joey Brooks as Lon Rosen, Delante Desouza as Michael Cooper, Jimel Atkins as Jamaal Wilkes, Austin Aaron as Mark Landsberger, Jon Young as Brad Holland, with Rob Morgan as Earvin Johnson Sr. and Sally Field as Jessie Buss.
During the panel the cast spoke about taking on some of the NBA’s most prominent figures, from Jerry Buss to Pat Riley to Magic Johnson. Adam McKay, who directed the pilot and serves as executive producer, mused specifically about Isaiah and Hughes and their characters.
“I would say it was the single hardest casting challenge I’ve ever encountered and our casting director Francine Maisler would tell you the same thing,” he reflected.”It was crazy, to this day, I can’t believe that Quincy and Solomon Hughs came our way. They can play ball and they’re really talented actors…I’ve never experienced anything like it in all the years I’ve been doing it.”
Hyperobject Industries’ Kevin Messickm executive produces alongside showrunner and writer Borenstein. Jim Hecht is Executive Producer, Writer, and Co-Creator. Rodney Barnes serves as Executive Producer and Writer. Jason Shuman and Scott Stephens also serve as Executive Producers.
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