Mark down Magic Johnson as the latest Laker associated with the Showtime Lakers to not approve of the series “Winning Time.” A day after both Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar publicly denounced the series in varied fashions, Magic Johnson appeared on “The Crossover” podcast with Chris Mannix and Howard Beck and gave his two cents on HBO’s series.
“I haven’t seen it but of course I know it’s not because...there’s no Lakers around telling that story.”
Magic’s appearance on the podcast was to promote his upcoming docuseries “They Call Me Magic” about his life and the Showtime Lakers. Unlike “Winning Time,” Magic’s project will be factual and not a dramatization.
On Tuesday evening, West demanded an apology and retraction from the showrunners for his depiction in “Winning Time.” How he was portrayed in the opening episode drew a lot of criticism from multiple outlets.
Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Kareem wrote a lengthy critique of the series that was fairer when it comes to actual film criticisms, even if it also included complaints about its lack of accuracy and some silly criticisms.
While “Winning Time” is not a perfect series, again, it’s never claimed to be anything other than a dramatization and this all feels like it’s getting a bit silly now. It’s a television show meant to entertain fans that is based on some facts.
Is it inaccurate at times? Yes. It’s literally what we write about every Monday morning. But demanding apologies and retractions and criticisms solely because it’s inaccurate? It feels like a bit of piling on now.
“Winning Time” is a perfectly enjoyable series with some perfectly enjoyable characters. If the Showtime Lakers wanted a purely accurate depiction of their team, then they had 30 years they could have produced such a piece.
Magic’s documentary will provide a more accurate portrayal and if fans want that, they can go find it. And if they want something more entertaining, they can go to “Winning Time.”