At the start of the pandemic, many of us were transfixed by ESPN’s The Last Dance docuseries about Michael Jordan and the 90s Bulls. It was a fascinating look at a different era of basketball, and at one of the best, if not the absolute best, basketball players of all time.
Jordan’s rise came after Larry Bird and Magic Johnson dominated the 80s with their Celtics and Lakers teams, and now HBO is taking a closer look at that era of the NBA with a series of their own. But there’s a twist: this isn’t a documentary!
The HBO series is based on Jeff Pearlman’s book, “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s,” and it has quite a cast. The latest edition? Academy Award winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist) as Lakers coach Pat Riley.
According to Variety, Brody joins a large cast of actors portraying the Lakers administration and players, including John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and more.
Riley, of course, was the charismatic coach with the slicked-back hair who led Magic, Kareem, and the rest of the Lakers to three championships in the 80s, before the Pistons, and eventually, the Bulls, wrestled the league away as the new decade began.
The 80s Lakers should provide plenty of fodder for an entertaining series, both from an on-the-court and off-the-court perspective. It will be interesting to see what tone the show takes, and which other players will appear on screen as superstars like Magic’s rival and friend Larry Bird, friend and rival Isaiah Thomas, and, of course, a young Michael Jordan.
Can’t wait to see the resulting memes!