Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

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Photo: Warrick Page/HBO

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, the HBO series about the late-’70s-to-early-’80s transformation of the Los Angeles Lakers, is about as subtle as leaping over two big men to deliver a decisive slam dunk in an NBA playoff game. It’s showy and a little arrogant, brash and aggressive, urgent and quickly paced when the moment calls for it. It can be a little much until you get used to it, and even then, it’s still a little much. But once you get hooked into the story of how a struggling team reinvented itself and the NBA experience, you may find it hard to look away, even though its pleasures run more surface level than deep. — Jen Chaney, “Winning Time Certainly Puts on a Show

  1. Episode 10 Promised Land
    Winning Time Season-Finale Recap: Haywood’s Gun Winning Time can only stretch reality so far and limps throughout its finale.
  2. Episode 9 Pickfair
    Winning Time Recap: Acceptable Loss As the Lakers enter the playoffs, we’re reminded of the painful sacrifices along the way.
  3. Episode 8 California Dreaming
    Winning Time Recap: All-Star Breaking Point The Lakers might be winning on the court, but their constant sabotaging and undermining of each other is a losing game.
  4. Episode 7 Invisible Man
    Winning Time Recap: Invisible Man Winning Time finally gets to the first of many battles between Magic and Bird.
  5. Episode 6 Memento Mori
    Winning Time Recap: A Paul Westhead Original The noble prince is forced into becoming a hapless king.
  6. Episode 5 Pieces of a Man
    Winning Time Recap: O Captain! My Captain! Winning Time puts Kareem Abdul-Jabbar center stage in the best episode of the series so far.
  7. Episode 4 Who the Fuck is Jack McKinney?
    Winning Time Recap: Classical Music vs. Jazz The Showtime era has finally begun in Los Angeles.
  8. Episode 3 The Best Is Yet To Come
    Winning Time Recap: What Happens in Vegas … This week is a stealth introduction to Pat Riley, future Hall of Fame head coach and current loser.
  9. Episode 2 Is That All There Is?
    Winning Time Recap: We Are Building Shangri-La Jerry Buss has to figure out how he will pay for the championship roster he desperately craves.
  10. Episode 1 The Swan
    Winning Time Recap: It’s Showtime! Winning Time is a captivating workplace drama starring employees with massive talent and egos.
  1. Episode 7 What Is and What Should Never Be
    Winning Time Finale Recap: Leave the Dynasties to Us The Lakers lose the ’84 finals but will more or less live happily ever after. Winning Time as a series, on the other hand …
  2. Episode 6 Beat L.A.
    Winning Time Recap: It’s Actually Losing Time We’re skipping right over the ‘82 championship to get to the good stuff: the Lakers’ professional and personal failures.
  3. Episode 5 The Hamburger Hamlet
    Winning Time Recap: Press Conference Massacre A combination of Jerry’s mismanagement and Magic flexing his power combusts into a historic mess.
  4. Episode 4 The New World
    Winning Time Recap: The System What’s the point of being Magic Johnson if the team that owns you won’t let you be Magic Johnson?
  5. Episode 3 The Second Coming
    Winning Time Recap: Rebuilding As the Lakers regroup after a disappointing playoffs, Magic’s greatest rival is growing his reputation as a ruthless competitor and trash-talker.
  6. Episode 2 The Magic is Back
    Winning Time Recap: Et Tu, Pat? Westhead’s refusal to embrace Magic, flaws and all, creates a disconnect within the team … and an opening for Riley.
  7. Episode 1 One Ring Don’t Make a Dynasty
    Winning Time Season-Premiere Recap: Our Year For all his talk about turning the Lakers into a family business, Jerry’s track record as a father remains spotty.

More on Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynesty

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    How Winning Time’s Characters Compare to Their Real-Life CounterpartsThe fourth-wall-breaking basketball series from Adam McKay added a few changes to the real story of the Los Angeles Lakers.
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    Michael Chiklis Grew Up With the Gospel of Red AuerbachThe Winning Time actor on the legendary Boston head coach’s cigar strategy and witnessing the Lakers-Celtics rivalry in real time.
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    Jason Clarke Is ‘Letting It All Hang Out’ As the Man Behind the NBA Logo“Jerry’s, in a way, out of his mind. He doesn’t know how to stop himself.”
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    Does Winning Time Really Need to Look Like That?A constant-motion visual offense makes sense for this story, but whether it elevates or undermines the viewing experience is up for debate.
  5. tv review
    Winning Time Certainly Puts on a ShowThe HBO series about the Los Angeles Lakers during the Magic Johnson era is flashy as hell, and purposefully so.