Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week we ask questions of the most plugged-in Los Angeles Lakers fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
It may not have been a hit with those it portrayed, but “Winning Time” was a smashing success with fans of the Lakers.
While those like Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson railed on the series for its inaccuracies when it came to the characters, fans were largely able to look past that and still found joy in watching HBO’s series on the Showtime Era. Our latest SBN Reacts survey shows just how much Lakers fans enjoyed the debut season.
Really, that’s a truly impressive number. Even with previous questions regarding Russell Westbrook’s future in LA or the faith — or lack thereof — in Jeanie Buss and Lakers ownership, there wasn’t a question that got nearly this strong of a response.
It’s a testament to a number of things, including fans’ ability to look past the short-sighted criticisms of the former players as well as a deserving nod to just how good the show was. Because of how often it was criticized and who was criticizing it, often the discussion around the show was on its perceived failures.
But this show nailed a number of things that made it great. John C. Reilly was terrific as the driving force in the show and his portrayal of Dr. Jerry Buss was thoroughly enjoyable. Similarly, Quincy Isaiah nailed his portrayal of Magic Johnson, certainly not an easy task. Really, there weren’t many, if any, misses when it came to casting in the series.
Throughout the first season, there were some inaccuracies and creative liberties that we discussed weekly, but the show never veered far from the source material and never struggled to keep things captivating. It’s no wonder that the show was picked up fairly early on for a second season and I, like many Lakers fans, can’t wait to see where HBO, Adam McKay and the cast and crew go from here.
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