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December 13, 2021

Adam McKay's new series 'Winning Time' tells the story of the 1980s Lakers dynasty

The 10-episode drama will premiere this March on HBO

TV Adam McKay
Adam McKay Winning Time Sthanlee B. Mirador/SIPA USA

Adam McKay's new series, 'Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,' chronicles the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers.

Adam McKay's next television project will take viewers back in time to relive one of the most iconic eras in NBA history. But it might spark mixed feelings among Sixers fans.

The Chester County native will direct and produce "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty," a series chronicling the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers.

Led by Basketball Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Showtime Lakers won five championships and appeared in nine NBA Finals from 1980-1991.

The show stars John C. Reilly as team owner Jerry Buss, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Adrien Brody as Hall of Fame head coach Pat Riley. 

Reilly starred in a number of McKay's comedic projects from the 2000s, including "Talladega Nights" and "Step Brothers."

The cast also will feature Jason Clarke, Sally Field, Jason Segel, Rob Morgan, Hadley Robinson, Tamera Tomakili and Julianne Nicholson. Nicholson won her first Emmy Award this year for her performance as Lori Ross in HBO's "Mare of Easttown."

"Winning Time" is based on "Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s," the book by former Sports Illustrated writer and University of Delaware grad Jeff Perlman.

The 76ers and Lakers faced three times in the NBA Finals from 1980-1983. While the Lakers won the first two matchups in 1980 and 1982, the Sixers swept Los Angeles in 1983 to win their most-recent NBA title.

The 10-episode series will premiere this March on HBO and HBO Max.

"Winning Time" will be the 53-year-old McKay's latest project in which he looks back at a historical event. McKay's Academy Award-winning film "The Big Short" detailed the Great Recession of 2008. His Oscar-nominated film "Vice" chronicled the rise of Dick Cheney to vice president.

McKay, who attended Great Valley High School in Malvern and Temple University, has had success on HBO with his involvement in the Emmy Award-winning drama "Succession."

But before "Winning Time" debuts in 2022, McKay's newest film – "Don't Look Up" – premieres Dec. 24 on Netflix.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep and Jonah Hill, the dark comedy film pokes fun at how the world might end.

DiCaprio and Lawrence play astronomers who warn society that a comet the size of Mount Everest will hit Earth in six months and destroy the planet. However, the scientists find that nobody seems too worried about the apocalyptic threat.


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