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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Darker side of Lakers dynasty unveiled

Magic Johnson, played by Quincy Isaiah, walks through the room as the press tries to interview him. “Winning Time” can be streamed on HBO Max. Photos courtesy of HBO
Magic Johnson, played by Quincy Isaiah, walks through the room as the press tries to interview him. “Winning Time” can be streamed on HBO Max.
Photos courtesy of HBO

JUAN SALINAS II
senior editor
juan.salinas465@my.tccd.edu

Unlike the Lakers’ season, “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” is actually good. 

“Winning Time” is an HBO Max exclusive, and it’s a highly dramatized interpretation of true events. It focuses on Jerry Buss and the Buss family during his first few years running the Lakers. It started with Buss trying to scrap enough real estate and cash to buy the “deep in the red” Lakers organization. 

This was when the NBA was nearly bankrupt, so it wasn’t as luxurious an opportunity as it would be now. 

The show highlights major players of the team from Magic Johnson to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and other staff involved in the day-to-day running of the team. 

Since this is produced by HBO, everything has high production value, which is evident by how the show is shot.

One thing that can be uncomfortable is the unnecessary sex scenes and nudity. I’m not a prude. I don’t mind nudity, but was it really necessary to show Johnson having an orgy when he first arrived in Los Angeles? But you take the bad with the good, I guess. 

The show does an excellent job of world-building. This series shows LA in all its glitz and glamor but also hints at showing the not-so-sexy parts of LA in later episodes. It really conveys the clashing cultures of the time. 

As a casual fan of basketball, it was interesting to see the game’s legends in a different light. You get to see the more human side of them, flaws and all. 

It shows the league’s logo Jerry West as a man haunted by underachieving in his career and Pat Riley down on his luck, trying desperately to return to the game in any form, even if that means being an announcer.

My favorite character so far is Abdul-Jabbar. I didn’t know he was such a badass. Even if he criticized the series for not being accurate with real-life events. 

His swagger in each episode is contagious. Solomon Hughes does a great job in his role. 

Another actor that surprised me was John C. Reilly. To be fair, I only remember him from the weird show on Adult Swim when I was supposed to be sleeping as a kid, so maybe it isn’t that much of a surprise to others.

One thing that I love about the series is the fourth wall breaks. I’m a sucker for those. It’s more like a “House of Cards” style than “The Office” fourth wall breaks. 

Characters would stop the scene just to tell you that the other character is full of it and any other funny comment. It’s amazing, and some of them make you burst out laughing. 

Overall, “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” is a good time, as long as you don’t mind cringing through some sex scenes. It’s a good series to shut your brain off and enjoy the ride. New episodes air every Sunday on HBO MAX.

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