The HBO dramatic series ‘Winning Time’ was a hit amongst basketball fans for its stories surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers during the Showtime era of the 1980s. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss praised the show for some of the things it did well, even as many others who are represented in the show did not care for their portrayal.
Many were disappointed when it was announced that the show would not be brought back after its second season. Making matters even worse is that the show about the Lakers now ends at arguably their lowest point of that time, the loss to the Boston Celtics in the 1984 NBA Finals.
There is a lot more story to tell and in an interview with Arash Markazi of The Messenger, creator Jim Hecht spoke on the idea of not only going to the end of the Showtime era, but even stretching it out to the present day version of the Lakers:
“We obviously wanted to go to 1991 but there’s more story to be told even after that,” Hecht said. “You have one series about ‘Showtime’ and then things pick up five years later in 1996 when Jerry West signs Shaquille O’Neal and trades for Kobe Bryant. It could even go all the way to today with Jeanie as the owner and winning a title with LeBron James. I don’t think that it’s completely over.”
The Lakers franchise is one of the few in sports that could be used as inspiration for many shows across all different eras. Hecht is right in that going to the Shaq-Kobe era, and then even to Jeanie taking over the team up to LeBron James joining and winning another championship would make for great television.
Unfortunately it looks as if that won’t be the case in the near future at least, but fellow show creator Max Borenstein is leaving the door open for any possibilities:
“I don’t think the doors ever get closed on anything,” Borenstein said. “It’s very clear that there was something special about Winning Time. This is a story that has so much to be mined that’s beyond just what people thought they knew. Who knows when or if we will have that opportunity to continue it, but we live in a world where Frasier is about to get a new season after 20 years so you never know.”
Series’ being re-made or brought back is happening regularly in Hollywood, so ‘Winning Time’ being picked up by another network in the future is certainly not out of the question. And Hecht believes if that is meant to be, ultimately it will come to fruition:
“I think (executive producer) Kevin Messick said it best,” Hecht said. “If the universe wants more Lakers, the universe knows where to reach us.”
‘Winning Time’ was so entertaining to so many people that one would hope it gets picked up by someone if for nothing else than to show the Lakers coming back and dominating the Celtics after that horrible loss in 1984.
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss praises ‘Winning Time’ for portrayal of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Whether or not some might agree to how these Lakers stars are depicted in the show ‘Winning Time,’ one thing that can not be argued is that the actors portraying these legends have done an outstanding job and a couple especially stood out to Jeanie Buss.
Buss was especially fond of Quincy Isaiah’s portrayal of Magic Johnson, noting how he had Magic’s signature smile and wink down perfectly. The Lakers owner also praised Solomon Hughes taking on the role of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, believing he captured an extremely complex player.
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