After a long, long, long wait, the trailer for “Winning Time,” the HBO series centering on Dr. Jerry Buss and the Showtime Lakers dropped on Thursday morning. And holy crap does it look great. Starring John C. Reilly — yes that John C. Reilly — as Dr. Jerry Buss and relative newcomer Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, the first look at the show should have every Lakers fan remarkably excited.
But it’s not just Lakers fans who are pumped to watch the new show. So is LeBron James himself:
WOW!!!! I can’t wait for this! The myth, The man, The LEGEND! Dr. Buss and his magic man Magic Johnson! https://t.co/42zpPOFBOm— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 11, 2021
And it’s easy to see why James is excited. The show looks to focus on not just the Showtime Lakers, but how they were built, including drafting Johnson, who also appears to be one of the main stars of the show. Rightfully so, it looks like the show will also focus at least as much off the court as on the court, at least based on the clips shown.
Announced in April 2019, the show is based on the book “Showtime” written by Jeff Pearlman. There has been plenty of turnover in the series, most notably the initial casting of Michael Shannon on Buss, and his dropout leading to the breaking up of the company owned by Adam McKay and lifelong Laker fan Will Ferrell over the latter wanting to be cast as Buss after Shannon left, only to be replaced by Reilly.
Literally, there is never a dull, drama-free moment related to the Lakers. Even when they’re not directly involved.
Now, though, the show looks magnificent, and the IMDB page suggests a whole host of storylines in the works with actors and actresses cast for Larry Bird, David Stern, Jack Nicholson, Paula Abdul and more. It clearly looks to be an ambitious project trying to encompass what made the Showtime Era so special both on the court and off it.
But if the trailer is anything to go on, it really looks like it could be a tremendous series. So it’s no wonder that James — as much of a basketball (and Lakers) historian as anyone — is hyped for it.