The trailer for the upcoming series on HBO Max titled, “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” has dropped. As expected Will Ferrell who was originally in talks to portray late Lakers’ owner Dr. Jerry Buss is nowhere to be seen in the preview. Instead, we get John C. Reilly as Buss. It seems that the fact that Adam McKay who is directing and producing the project didn’t decide to cast Ferrell in the role has led to major tension in the relationship. With reports indicating that the duo behind the “Anchorman” film franchise has essentially ended their friendship.
With or without Ferrell the series seems to have effectively been able to capture that 80s LA vibe. Critics are pointing out that John C. Reilly’s characterization as Buss is way more life-like than anything that Will Ferrell would’ve been able to pull off.
What The Series Is Going To Cover
This new series based on the showtime Lakers era is set to explore what happened in and around the team on and off the court. Just from the previews we can see that the creative team may be taking some liberties in bending the truth to craft their story. That may not sit well with some of the real life folks who are being depicted in the series. For example, in the preview and accompanying pictures released by HBO Max we get to see Dr. Jerry Buss in bed with some younger women. Something that probably wasn’t run by the Buss family by creators when writing the script for the show. Riley even says in the trailer,
‘There’s two things in this world that make me believe in God: It’s sex and basketball,’
The Colorful Cast of Former Lakers Players
It’s not just Dr. Buss who makes an appearance in the series of course. With former Lakers greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and even former player turned coach, turned executive Jerry West making an appearance in the series. Some relatively new actors in the Hollywood scene are potentially getting their big break in the series. With Solomon Hughes getting the nod to play the role of Abdul-Jabbar. Quincy Isaiah is stepping into the shoes of Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Who seems to be the main character that the series will be set to follow.
Will This New Lakers Series Feature Magic’s HIV Diagnosis Heavily?
One of the main questions coming into the series premiere is how much of an emphasis the show might put on Magic Johnson’s HIV diagnosis. As we mentioned it’s looking like Magic is going to be the main character in the show. With Earlitha ‘Cookie’ Kelly now better known as Cookie Johnson being featured in the character cards released by HBO Max. The trailer already shows some NSFW scenes to begin with. Don’t expect them to hold anything back in that department. As we mentioned this may cause a bit of controversy with some of the real life people being portrayed in the show. Particularly since most of them are thankfully alive and well to this day!