Thus far, HBO’s “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” has been pretty widely lauded by fans and critics as an entertaining portrayal of one of the most interesting stretches in NBA history. For the most part, people have understood that a TV show might turn everyone into their nth degree selves for the sake of entertainment. But for some reason, there’s an idea that a line that should never have been crossed is doing the same to Jerry West, with West’s own former colleagues criticizing the show’s portrayal across multiple media platforms.
Odd hill to die on, in my opinion, but whatever.
Part 1: Jeff Pearlman
This week in “The Lakers Lounge,” Harrison Faigen and I spoke to Jeff Pearlman, whose book, “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and The Dynasty of The 1980s,” is the subject material for the show. We spoke about how his book getting turned into a show impacted his relationship with the Lakers, the extent of the Jeanie Buss and Linda Rambis connection, Klutch Sports, and, of course, West.
Look, of course West’s portrayal is over the top. No, I don’t think he was a raging alcoholic who fired around his Finals MVP trophy around the office like some weird, one-sided game of dodgeball. But literally everyone on the show is the most extreme version of the person they’re playing.
A TV show also highlights growth, and if the starting point on West is what we saw of him last Sunday, my guess is by the end of the season, we’re going to be watching a very different Jerry West. Just a hunch.
It’s also kind of odd that West would be some territory no one should ever explore, either. We spent some time figuring out what might be at play there, as well as discussing a whole lot more.
Part Two: “Winning Time” might (partially) explain how the Lakers currently operate
As mentioned above, Harrison and I spent some time talking to Pearlman about Jeanie Buss and Linda Rambis’ friendship, and how it’s helped Rambis — and her husband Kurt — become some of the most powerful people in the Lakers organization. It’s an interesting look at why Buss has made the decisions she has — especially as they pertain to LeBron James and Klutch Sports.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.