Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is a very entertaining adaptation of the Los Angeles Lakers’ “Showtime” era that lasted from 1979 to 1990, where we get to see a rookie “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird compete to be the best.
It was directed by an academy award winner
Directed by Academy Award winner Adam McKay who also directed “The Big Short”, “Don’t Look Up” and many other movies, he was charged with the titanic job to make the series a winning hit for HBO.
Although some of the specifics of the series were changed for entertaining and storytelling reasons, there are a few details that could have given the series a more accurate stance, here we will mention a few.
Magic Johnson and Larry Bird’s first showdown did not go as portrayed
The Boston Celtics and The Los Angeles Lakers continued a rivalry that started in college basketball, however, when we see them playing each other, they combined two different games to make it more exciting. Actually, the first time both teams met was in Los Angeles, and the Lakers won substantially 123 to 105.
Visionary Coach McKinney was in a coma for only three days
The accident that the Jack McKinney had landed him in a very difficult health condition, his breaks locked and he hit the pavement at full speed which provoked a major concussion which ultimately ended in a coma, he was in it for only three days, however, in the show they made it look longer to make emphasis for Westhead’s rise to the coaching position.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s name change
In the show, Kareem is portrayed as a talented and disciplined individual, who had a conflicting internal dialogue as a basketball player, a Muslim, and an African American dealing with racial inequity.
He changed his name from Lewis Alcindor to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1971 when he converted to Islam, but in the show, they change it to 3 years earlier.