It hasn’t been a great week for the actual Lakers, but the fictional ones just picked up a big win.
According to TVLine, HBO has renewed Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty for Season 2. Based on Jeff Pearlman’s book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, the series follows the on and off court drama of the ‘80s Showtime Lakers. The drama starts with Magic Johnson being drafted to Los Angeles and was originally going to end with his 1991 announcement that he was HIV positive.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the network also optioned Pearlman’s Three-Ring Circus: Kobe, Shaq, Phil, and the Crazy Years of the Lakers Dynasty. Though there have been no confirmations from HBO, it seems pretty clear what they have in mind for Season 2, with HBO President of Programming Casey Bloys telling The Hollywood Reporter, “If the stories are there and the different eras are there, why not keep exploring it?”
Look, there’s no doubt Kobe, Shaq and Phil will make captivating television, but you absolutely cannot get Kobe wrong, HBO. You think the pressure was on with the Showtime Lakers, wait until you make an official announcement about Season 2’s possible storyline, the internet will explode.
“It’s been a thrill to bring Winning Time to life with Adam McKay, Max Borenstein, our phenomenal producing team, and this incredible cast,” Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO programming, said in a statement. “This series not only tells the riveting story of the Lakers’ rise, but is also a look back at a transformative era in basketball, celebrity, and the city of Los Angeles. We can’t wait to see how this team will tell the next chapter of this dynasty.”
Reviews have been mixed, as the show has taken a flash over substance approach to its storytelling but HBO has committed to the series from the start, giving it a huge marketing push. With Emmy nominations and voting coming in the summer, we imagine the awards campaign will be even bigger.
Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO, and is available on HBO Max.