HBO’s “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” is set to return for a second season on Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. PST.
The first season was a wild success as it featured the genesis of the “Showtime” Lakers of the 1980s. The show surrounded players like Jerry West, Pat Riley, Jerry Buss and of course, Magic Johnson.
West was played by Jason Clarke, Adrien Brody played Riley, Quincy Isaiah starred as Johnson and the famed John C. Reily played Buss.
By the end of Season 1, the Lakers dynasty was rounding into form as they had just won the 1980 NBA Finals with Johnson playing one of the best games of his life in Game 6 and winning Finals MVP honors. It ended on a high note for Lakers fans, however, Season 2 will be take a darker turn for those who root for the purple and gold.
That’s because the season’s focus will now be on the reemergence of Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics in addition to the Lakers’ struggles.
“Now it’s like this is ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ chapter, and (stuff) is going to get real,” said executive producer Max Borenstein. “The Lakers have to overcome their obstacles against the NBA’s reigning dynasty, the Celtics and Larry Bird.”
The actor who will be playing Bird is Sean Patrick, who was actually a role player on the Los Altos High School basketball team in California.
“I knew of Larry Bird, but not all his greatness,” Patrick said. “But I looked to him since I wasn’t the fastest guy on the court, didn’t jump the highest, shot threes and I could pass.”
Spoiler alert: Bird and the Celtics won titles in 1981, 1984 and 1986. So with Season 2 likely to cover the three-time MVP’s first couple of championships, it could be quite a painful watch for Lakers fans.
However, fans shouldn’t be all that worried as they should know how the Lakers bounced right back with titles against the Celtics in 1985 and 1987. Superstar Lakers point guard Johnson also bested his adversary Bird’s ring count with a total of five throughout his career, including three NBA Finals MVPs.
The last time the Lakers met the Celtics in the Finals was in 2010 when the Lakers had to win a grueling Game 7 behind the efforts of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and others. Let’s hope that this current iteration can get back to the promised land soon behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.