Winning Time: Magic Johnson Giving HBO Lakers Series No-Look Pass

With numerous projects in the works about the 1980s "Showtime" Los Angeles Lakers, it turns out one of its signature faces in Ervin "Magic" Johnson isn't a fan of the upcoming HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. The scripted series set to premiere this March stems from showrunner Max Borenstein and director & executive producer (Adam McKay), who's just now coming off the release of his Netflix film Don't Look Up.

Winning Time: Magic Johnson's Hard Pass on HBO Lakers Series
John C Reilly and Quincy Isaiah in Winning Time. Image courtesy of HBO

Johnson told TMZ that he wasn't excited for it, doesn't plan to see it, and explained that he and Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss are working on their own projects. "We got different shows coming out," he said. "I got one. Then, Jeanie Buss got one on Showtime coming out. Those are the ones [I'm] looking forward to, OK?" Buss and Johnson are collaborating with filmmaker Antoine Fuqua in their Hulu docuseries about the team. She's also being a Lakers-inspired comedy series that will run on Netflix. The NBA franchise isn't participating in Winning Time, which is based on the Jeff Pearlman book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s. Set to star as Johnson on the series is newcomer Quincy Isaiah, John C. Reilly as owner Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as general manager Jerry West, Adrien Brody as coach Pat Riley, and Hadley Robinson as Jeanie.

magic johnson
Image: SACRAMENTO, CA – DEC 8: Magic Johnson arrives at the California Hall of Fame ceremonies at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, California on December 8, 2011. Editorial Credit: Randy Miramontez/

The era of Showtime was from 1979-1991 featuring the dominant Lakers teams of a run-and-gun style of play that relied on fast breaks. Johnson was drafted as a point guard in 1979 and became known not only for his clutch scoring, but his legendary passing often leading the league in assists. Combined with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's dominant presence in the middle and Riley's coaching led to five NBA Championships.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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