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Winning Time: The Rise Of The Lakers Dynasty: 6 Quick Things We Know About The HBO Series

John C. Reilly and Quincy Isaiah on Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty
(Image credit: HBO)

There are few professional basketball teams that have had as much success or have been as popular as the Los Angeles Lakers. With iconic figures like the late Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Magic Johnson, the list of Lakers greats is also a portion of the list of best basketball players of all time.

The story of that iconic team, the individuals who made them successful, and their high-profile fans came to be will be told in great detail in the upcoming HBO docudrama series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (not to be confused with the 30 for 30 documentary of the same name). With an all star cast, recreations of some of the "Showtime Lakers" most legendary moments, and much more, there’s a lot to know about the highly-anticipated sports series before it lands on TV and starts streaming on HBO Max.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

(Image credit: HBO)

Winning Time: The Rise Of The Lakers Dynasty Will Premiere In March 2022 On HBO

Just as the NBA season enters its final days before the playoffs, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty will premiere on HBO (and start streaming on HBO Max). At some point in March 2022, the long-awaited debut of the drama based on the exploits of the legendary franchise will make its debut, showing fans a team and era that some would argue is still the greatest of all time. An exact release date has not yet been announced at this time, but with March right around the corner, expect to hear more in the coming weeks.

John C. Reilly, Quiny Isaiah, Jason Clarke, and Adrien Brody on Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

(Image credit: HBO)

The Winning Time Cast Includes John C. Reilly, Quincy Isaiah, Jason Clarke, Adrien Brody And More

With the colorful cast of characters on and surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s, it should come as no surprise that the Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty cast is a list of one Hollywood heavyweight after the next. The cast is so stacked in fact, that it would fill up an entire article listing every name. That being said, we’ll focus on the major players here.

Leading the bunch is John C. Reilly, who will be taking on the role of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss as he moves the team from its original home in Minneapolis to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Joining him will be Quincy Isaiah as Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jason Clarke as former Lakers star and general manager Jerry West (he’s the player in the NBA logo), Adrien Brody as coach Pat Riley, and Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Other members of the Winning Time cast include Sally Field, Rob Morgan, Gaby Hoffmann, Jason Segel, Wood Harris, Mike Epps, and several dozen other actors. 

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

(Image credit: HBO)

Winning Time Will Focus On The Electric And Successful Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty Of The 1980s

When Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty debuts in March, it will tell the unforgettable story of the “Showtime Lakers” and how the franchise dominated the sports world and pop culture throughout the 1980s. But, the action won’t just be on the court, as the HBO series will dive into the diverse and complicated personal lives of the major players involved with the successful sports team.

The series is based on Jeff Pearlman’s 2014 New York Times best-seller Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, which documented the unparalleled rise of the team in a decade where they played in eight NBA finals and won the gold in five of those series.

John C. Reilly on Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

(Image credit: HBO)

Winning Time Will Consist Of 10 Episodes Directed By A Group Of Directors That Includes Adam McKay

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty will consist of 10 episodes in total, with a select group of directors helming what appears to be an exciting and unforgettable series. Adam McKay, whose previous work ranges from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby to Don’t Look Up, directed the show’s pilot, in addition to serving as executive producer. In December 2021, SlashFilm reported that the other filmmakers stepping in to direct episodes of Winning Time include Salli Richardson-Whitfield (The Gilded Age, The Wheel of Time), Tanya Hamilton (Queen Sugar, Godfather of Harlem), Payman Benz (Black Monday, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), and Damian Marcano (Snowfall, Claws).

Max Borenstein, who serves as the Winning Time showrunner and co-writer (alongside Jim Hecht) told SlashFilm in an earlier interview that the show is one of the “most heavily researched sports shows” comparing it to a drama series about Watergate in terms of digging for information in the writing stage.

Quincy Isaiah on Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

(Image credit: HBO)

The Winning Time Trailer Shows The Lakers’ Success Both On And Off The Court

In December 2021, HBO dropped the first teaser trailer for Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, that offered a brief glimpse at the upcoming 10-episode series. The trailer offers a quick look at some of the more prominent figures in the basketball franchise, with a large portion of that time (when not going through members of the cast) devoted to Jerry Buss and his new star, Magic Johnson. But, it isn’t just basketball (though there’s a lot there) shown throughout the teaser, as it welcomes the audience into the exploits of the team and its players off the court as well. Parties, contract signings, and even a recreation of an iconic Airplane! scene all appear in the short trailer. See for yourself:

Wow. Make us believe, indeed!

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

(Image credit: HBO)

Winning Time Isn’t The Only Upcoming Series About The Famed Los Angeles Lakers

If you want even more action on top of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, you are in good luck, because the HBO series is just one of the many projects focused on the franchise in the works. Magic Johnson, who doesn’t sound too optimistic about Winning Time, is currently working on a documentary of his own titled Lakers: A Magic Johnson Docuseries which will land on Apple TV+ at some point in the future, per the Los Angeles Times. Jeanie Buss (who's portrayed by Hadley Robinson in Winning Time) is also working on a docuseries of her own with Antoine Fuqua over at Hulu, according to Deadline. There’s no such thing as too much Lakers. Well, unless you’re a Boston Celtics fan.

Be on the lookout for more about Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (especially its release date) as we get closer to March. In the meantime, take a look at all the known 2022 TV premiere dates so you don’t miss any of the new and returning shows.

Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.