Lakers legends blast HBO

In a letter sent to HBO, Warner Bros., Discovery, and executive producer Adam McKay, who directed the show’s pilot, West’s attorneys said “Winning Time” “falsely and cruelly portrays Mr. West as an out-of-control, intoxicated rage-aholic.

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April 21, 2022 - 3:30 PM

From left, John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Quincy Isaiah as Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Jason Clarke as Jerry West in HBO's "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty." (Warrick Page/HBO/WarnerMedia/TNS)

NBA icon and Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West is declaring the depiction of his character in HBO’s “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” to be “cruel” and “deliberately false,” and is demanding a retraction within two weeks from today.

“The portrayal of…West…is fiction pretending to be fact — a deliberately false characterization that has caused great distress to Jerry and his family,” Skip Miller, West’s attorney, said in a statement. “Contrary to the baseless portrayal in the HBO series, Jerry had nothing but love for and harmony with the Lakers organization, and in particular owner Dr. Jerry Buss, during an era in which he assembled one of the greatest teams in NBA history.”

The docuseries, which premiered in March, shows how the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, with the help of rookie Earvin “Magic” Johnson and veteran Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, created the team’s “Showtime” era, realizing Buss’ revolutionary vision of mixing muscular athleticism with noisy, sexy entertainment.

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