Magic Johnson Says He’s “Not Looking Forward” to HBO’s Lakers Series

BY RYAN GAJEWSKI | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren for CNT #Entertainment

‘Winning Time,’ focusing on the NBA team Johnson led in the 1980s, tips off in March.

When it comes to HBO’s upcoming series about the Los Angeles Lakers’ 1980s glory years, Magic Johnson is going to pass.

The legendary point guard chatted with a TMZ reporter during an interview published on Monday, and Magic was asked whether he is looking forward to Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. The upcoming scripted series debuts in March from showrunner Max Borenstein and director and executive producer Adam McKay, focusing on the NBA squad’s successful “Showtime” era.

Magic shared that he wasn’t excited for it, and he went on to explain that both he and Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss are working on their own shows. “We got different shows coming out,” he said. “I got one. Then, Jeanie Buss got one on Showtime coming out. Those are the ones [I’m] looking forward to, OK?”

When the TMZ reporter wanted to confirm that the HBO series does not have Magic’s blessing, the star replied, “Well, like I said, I’m not looking forward to it. I’m gonna leave it at that.” Then, Magic was asked if he’s planning to watch, and he gave an emphatic no.

HBO did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As Magic teased, Buss and Antoine Fuqua are executive producing an untitled Hulu docuseries about the team. She is also behind a Lakers-inspired comedy series that earned a straight-to-series order from Netflix.

While the Lakers organization is not participating in Winning Time, based on Jeff Pearlman’s book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, the show does include a slew of high-profile names.

Newcomer Quincy Isaiah is portraying Magic, and other cast members include John C. Reilly as then-owner Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as general manager Jerry West and Adrien Brody as coach Pat Riley. Hadley Robinson plays Jeanie.

Winning Time was initially set up at Gary Sanchez Productions, the company McKay founded with Will Ferrell. The pair dissolved the shingle in 2019, and Ferrell was reportedly upset to learn third hand that Reilly, and not Ferrell, was cast as Jerry Buss after Michael Shannon dropped out.

“I wish I had talked to him about it out of respect, but we were both focused on our new companies, and life just took over,” McKay told The Hollywood Reporter in an interviewpublished earlier this month.

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By Troy Warren

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