HBO drama series flashes back to Lakers’ 1980s glory days

“Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” highlights the professional and personal lives of the Showtime Lakers.

The star-studded cast includes John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Sally Field as his mother and Adrien Brody as Pat Riley.

Five things you need to know:

  1. The ensemble cast also includes Michael Chiklis, Jason Clarke, Gaby Hoffmann, Jason Segel, Rob Morgan, Tracy Letts, Wood Harris and Gillian Jacobs.
  2. “Winning Time” is based on Jeff Pearlman’s 2014 bestselling book, “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.” The sports writer captured the essence of the Showtime Lakers era, which created the intersection of sports and entertainment by including cheerleaders and music at the games for the first time.
  3. In his first major acting role, Quincy Isaiah plays Magic Johnson. Acting newcomer Solomon Hughes, who plays Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, played basketball for UC Berkeley. He also played professionally in the USBL and ABA, as well as in Mexico’s pro league. After a brief stint with the Harlem Globetrotters, he returned to UC Berkeley to get his masters. He also earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Georgia.
  4. DeVaughn Nixon plays his real-life father, Norm Nixon, who played for the Lakers from 1977 to 1983. Nixon’s acting credits include playing Whitney Houston’s son in “The Bodyguard” 30 years ago.
  5. Adam McKay, who wrote and directed the Netflix hit “Don’t Look Up,” served as an executive producer of “Winning Time.” He also directed the premiere episode of the 10-part series.