Basketball has become an international phenomenon and the popularity of the sport is palpable and growing from day to day.
That popularity has spread into film. From classics such as “Space Jam” to newer films such as “Uncle Drew,” basketball works in cinema.
The on-screen success of basketball starts with the stars of the past. Players like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird brought league popularity to new heights during the 1980s.
However, a scripted basketball television show has rarely been done but headed by director Adam McKay, HBO is set to produce one of the first basketball dramas. According to Lesley Goldberg of Hollywood Reporter, “Showtime” has been picked up for a pilot run:
“The premium cable network is reteaming with Adam McKay (Succession, Vice) for a scripted drama based on author Jeff Pearlman’s nonfiction book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s. Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, AMC’s The Terror) will pen the script for the project, which has been picked up with a pilot order from HBO. Jim Hecht (Ice Age: The Meltdown) will co-write the story.”
The Showtime Lakers are one of the most successful dynasties in all of sports. Los Angeles won five championships during the 1980s and what’s more, Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabar won three MVP awards during this stretch.
The show will highlight Johnson, Abdul-Jabar, and head coach Pat Riley and will cover the trio’s history on the court as well as their personal lives.
Additionally, “Showtime” is not the only Lakers connection to Hollywood as LeBron James is starring and producing the upcoming “Space Jam 2.”