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SHOWTIME: What HBO’s “Winning Time” Gets Wrong About The Showtime Lakers

Screen Shot 2022 04 30 at 9.25.00 PM SHOWTIME: What HBO's "Winning Time" Gets Wrong About The Showtime Lakers

The Showtime Lakers of Los Angeles, California set the standard for the NBA we know today. HBO’s “Winning Time” series dramatizes the events behind that team’s historic run from the point of view of Owner Jerry Buss and Hall of Famer Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson.

  1. The Timeline
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    1. Winning Time definitely plays fast and loose with the timeline of events in the story. Fans have noticed a number of inaccuracies including Jerry’s mother’s role in the team (she’d already passed by the time Buss bought the team).
  2. Jerry West
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    1. Probably the most vocal real-life counterpart to a character, Jerry West has rightfully been upset by his portrayal on the show. The show starts off with Jerry in his underwear and curled up in ball and I hope we’d remember better images of the logo.
  3. Magic Johnson
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    1. Large sections of the shows early episodes seems to have been lifted directly from Magic Johnson’s autobiography “My Life” but there’s a  noticeably different tone to the way the story is told which is far more explicit on the HBO version of events. Note: there was no Cindy in real life.
  4. The Basketball
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    1. The snippets of actual basketball gameplay reenacted on the series featured repeated loops of the same plays and really miss the high speed dazzling nature of real Showtime Lakers games.
  5. Paul Westhead
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    1. He didn’t quote shakespeare in the locker room but the HBO version seems like a character fresh out of Hamlet.


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