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Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

  • Premiered: 
    March 6, 2022
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: HBO
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Based on the 2014 book (Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers) by Jeff Pearlman 
  • Subject Matter: Sports
  • Tags: basketball (pro: men)

Buy This Show on DVD or Watch Online

  • Click a button to buy a DVD at Amazon
  • Season 1
    • Amazon
  • Season 1 [Blu-ray]
    • Amazon
Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

Based on Jeff Pearlman's book, "Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers," WINNING TIME: THE RISE OF THE LAKERS DYNASTY is a scripted series that goes back in time to chronicle the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports' most revered and dominant dynasties. Characters include:

Jerry Buss is a self-made millionaire whose success has only amplified his proclivity for risk. Buss redefines American sports, celebrity, and wealth by transforming the Lakers into a dynasty, but his house of cards threatens to collapse on him -- and the people he loves most.

Magic Johnson is as gifted in the game as he is magnetic in his life, his fast-paced, captivating style of play revolutionizes the sport of basketball even as his style of celebrity transforms the social fabric of the culture.

The cantankerous tortured genius of basketball, Jerry West, ought to be the perfect man to build the Lakers into a dynasty -- if only he can get past his own worst enemy: Jerry West.

As the legendary head coach of the Showtime era, Pat Riley led the Lakers to four NBA championships -- and unprecedented superstardom. His iconic style, confidence, and fast-break offense defined 80's basketball and influenced pop culture at large.

Claire Rothman is the general manager of the Forum, the first and only female manager of any major market sports arena, Claire uses her searing intelligence and emotional endurance to thrive in the misogynistic world of professional sports.

As the unsung hero behind Showtime basketball, Jack McKinney is the original architect of the Lakers' fast paced running game. Despite having no NBA head coaching experience, McKinney must find a way to translate his groundbreaking vision and unify his new team.

Paul Westhead, a Shakespeare professor, leaves grading papers behind to be assistant coach of the Lakers. In Los Angeles, Westhead steps into a drama straight off the Bard's page (of which he is fond of quoting).

Cranny McKinney is a coach's wife who is in many ways a coach herself, Cranny McKinney is frank, funny, and tenacious. No stranger to uprooting her family, she does it one last time -- leading the family to LA for what could be the realization of their lifelong dream. It proves to be just that; but as the Lakers rocket to unprecedented success, until tragedy derails everything.

Jeanie Buss is the daughter of Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Jeanie is ambitious, smart, and eager to prove herself as competent as the men around her as she weighs the competing influences of her role models to forge her own identity as a businesswoman.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whose intelligence, talent, and political activism have made him a living legend, but his introverted nature leads him to be misunderstood by not only the public, but his own teammates. Deeply sensitive after a lifetime of betrayals, the arrival of rookie Magic Johnson sparks his gradual journey to open up to those around him -- a quest that re-inspires his love of the game.

Earlitha 'Cookie' Kelly met her college sweetheart Earvin Johnson Jr. before he was "Magic" -- a basketball superstar. Their on-again, off-again love story will have to withstand the onslaught of celebrity, distance, and a whole lot of growing pains.

Bill Sharman is the ultimate renaissance man: a collegiate basketball champion and four-time NBA champion, with a short stint as a Major League Baseball player, a career as one of the most influential NBA coaches of all time, and a third career as legendary GM of the Lakers. He even once punched a shark in the face, while on vacation in Acapulco. But as he begins to feel his age and lose his voice, he must consider his future -- and the future of the team he loves.

Real estate entrepreneur Frank Mariani spent 20 years building a Los Angeles empire with his business partner and best friend Jerry Buss. But when they bet it all on the Lakers, a marquee franchise in a floundering league, it will take nerves of steel, their best poker faces, and more than a few antacids to succeed.

Before Lon Rosen was Magic Johnson's agent and business partner, he paid his dues working alongside Jeanie Buss and Linda Rambis as the youngest employees of the Fabulous Forum.

In contrast to her boyfriend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's public persona, Cheryl Pistono is warm and outgoing. She uses her emotional intelligence to encourage Kareem to be himself, and together they weather the highs and lows of a life in basketball.

Legendary Lakers announcer Chick Hearn coined terms essential to basketball's lexicon -- including slam dunk, airball, and no-look pass. His colorful language and "world's eye view" were so essential to fans that he became one of the few personalities to lead simultaneous radio and TV broadcasts.

Linda Zafrani's intelligence and savvy have earned her a position in the Forum Office, but the arrival of new ownership -- Jerry Buss and his ambitious daughter Jeanie -- requires her to navigate a complicated web of personal and professional relationships.

Norm Nixon, a debonair playboy, overcomes insurmountable odds to become the all-star point guard of the Lakers. He expertly maneuvers the complexities of NBA stardom...until talented young rookie Magic Johnson arrives in L.A.

Despite having been drafted the season before, a devastating knee injury rendered 24-year-old Michael Cooper a "rookie" alongside Magic Johnson. Anxious and unsure of himself, Cooper is nonetheless determined to prove his worth to the team.

The son of a Baptist preacher who converted to Islam, Jamaal Wilkes is thoughtful, good-natured, and soft-spoken. Which means he's often overshadowed by the big personalities (and bigger egos) of his teammates. But he doesn't need headlines or hype. On the court, he's a silent killer; with game smooth enough to earn his nickname: Silk.

For decades, Earvin Johnson Sr. worked as both a garbage man and on an automobile assembly line to provide a better life for his children. When his son Earvin "Magic" Johnson is presented with an expensive NBA contract, the differences in how Earvin Sr. and his namesake handle privilege, opportunity, and attention are made obvious.

As a young single mother, Jessie Buss instilled in her son Jerry a love of math, money, and good times. Decades later, her son is a successful businessman who turns to her as a trusted advisor and bookkeeper.

Donald Sterling was already notorious for his questionable hairstyle and stingy management of the Clippers before the infamous tape of a sexist, racist rant went public. Reminiscent of another famous '80s Donald, Sterling pursues the trappings of fame but lacks tact, empathy, and grace.

As the coach of the Celtics, Red Auerbach won nine NBA championships. As general manager, he won seven more. When the Lakers' rise threatens his Boston dynasty, Auerbach proves himself to be the basketball genius and cut-throat competitor of every Laker fan's nightmares.
On Tuesday, October 4, 2022 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment released WINNING TIME: THE RISE OF THE LAKERS The Complete First Season on DVD and Blu-ray + Digital Copy featuring all 10 riveting episodes from the hit series along with several bonus features. Based on the book "Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s" by Jeff Pearlman, and renewed for a second season on HBO and HBO Max, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is a fast-break series that chronicles the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports' most revered and dominant dynasties -- a team that defined an era, both on and off the court. With an outstanding ensemble cast this is a must own for not only Lakers fans but for basketball fans everywhere. Run Time: 574 Minutes. Buy and binge now. (Click the red "Buy DVDs" button on this page.)

- Winning Time: Invitation to Set
- The Forum: Episodes 1 - 10
- Winning Time: Set Tour
- Winning Time: Changing the Game
- Winning Time: Training Time
- Winning Time: The Craft with Rodney Barnes (Writer), Richard Toyon (Production Designer), and Argya Sadan (Set Designer)

Six months earlier -- on Thursday, April 7 -- HBO renewed WINNING TIME for a second season.