HBO’s new dramatic series “Winning Time” based on the Jeff Pearlman chronicling the Showtime-era Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s has been one of the biggest new hits on television. It has also come under some scrutiny for its characterizations of certain people, most notably former Lakers star and general manager Jerry West.
While many have spoken out about how the series depicts many Lakers greats, none have been more outspoken than West. The Lakers legend demanded a retraction and apology from HBO and series creator Adam McKay for how he has been depicted as an alcohol-driven, rageful person. But it looks as if that won’t be coming.
HBO released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in which they defended their depiction of West in the series as based on factual research and stood behind the creators of the show:
In a statement provided exclusively to The Hollywood Reporter, the network had this to say: “HBO has a long history of producing compelling content drawn from actual facts and events that are fictionalized in part for dramatic purposes. Winning Time is not a documentary and has not been presented as such. However, the series and its depictions are based on extensive factual research and reliable sourcing, and HBO stands resolutely behind our talented creators and cast who have brought a dramatization of this epic chapter in basketball history to the screen.”
Where this goes from here is unclear, but it looks as if neither side is backing down right now and West has already said he is willing to take this issue to the Supreme Court. Many Lakers legends backed West in his complaint of the show, saying that they never saw him act in the way that “Winning Time” insinuates he did.
But HBO is standing strong behind what is being broadcasted and with “Winning Time” already being renewed for a second season, this is likely to continue on for the foreseeable future.
While the show is based on factual events, it is still classified as a dramatic series. As is the case in most instances of this nature, the creators of “Winning Time” are undoubtedly flexing their creative liberties with some of the true stories these things are based on.
But with so many of the people involved still living and witnessing what they view as their character being insulted, it brings about an entirely different feeling.
Jerry West willing to take HBO to Supreme Court
West does not sound as if he is going to be dropping this issue and apparently he is even willing to take this to the United States Supreme Court if necessary.
The Lakers legend believes the show belittled the Showtime Lakers and made them all look like cartoon characters.
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