HBO’s last weekend Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty ended its acclaimed and criticized first run of the season. Lots of fans and critics have praised the sports series, although Laker alumni such as Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have spoken out against it. Amid the critiques, it seems at least one of the show’s stars had a pleasant encounter with one of the NBA franchise’s greats. John C. Reilly, who plays the late team owner Jerry Buss, apparently had a nice exchange with the man’s daughter, current controlling owner Jeanie Buss.
Much has already been said about the portraits in winning time, especially those of Magic Johnson and Jerry West. John C. Reilly portrays Jerry Buss as a comical and business-minded man who has a tendency to fly through his pocket when it comes to making big decisions. Season 1 also addressed his playboy tendencies, which were widely covered by the media during his team’s Showtime era in the ’80s. However, when Jeanie Buss approached Reilly during a Laker game, she didn’t let go about his performance as her father. She even praised one of the actor’s other notable works:
So it turned out that the late great businessman, scientist and philanthropist was more than aware of the star’s abilities as an actor. Talk about a full-circle moment. If you ask me, his rating was correct, as the Aviator alum has proven he can hold his own in comedies like Guardians of the Universe and in dramas like The sisters brothers† I think the age old saying is true: game recognizes game.
Jeanie Buss may have stayed mom winning timebut her colleagues did not hold back as they shared their own feelings. Magic Johnson claimed he wouldn’t tune, because he didn’t believe the series could accurately replicate Showtime. His former teammate, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, shared his thoughts, say the show presents “raw stick-figure representations” of the people involved in the actual events. And Jerry West was so dissatisfied with his portrayal of himself on the show that he has lawyers involved in his complaint. In the same interview with VultureJohn C. Reilly gave his take on the responses:
Magic Johnson Actor Quincy Isaiah Also Responded against the resistance, saying he can “understand where they come from, because it’s a story about their lives.” He went on to claim that the show is just a “dramatization”, and also sent some love to Johnson. In HBO’s own rebuttalafter Jerry West’s complaint, the network acknowledged that some parts of the series are “fictionalized,” but that “the images are based on extensive factual research and reliable sources.”
Working on a second season of winning time is already in full swing and when it finally sees the light of day it’s reasonable to assume that other Laker alums may choose to join in. But before that possibly happens, let’s appreciate the fine conversation John C. Reilly and Jeanie Buss had amid the current wave of resistance.
Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is now available to stream in its entirety with a HBO Max subscription†