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HBO fires back at “Winning Time” critiques from Lakers’ Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Kareem, others

Lakers Winning Time HBO Magic Johnson Jerry West

The modern-day Los Angeles Lakers haven’t given fans much to watch recently. LeBron James and company failed to make it to the playoffs this postseason with a 33-49 regular-season record.

However, the legacy of the 1980s Lakers continues to entertain Los Angeles fans deep into April. The HBO series “Winning Time” follows the iconic team, led by Magic Johnson, in the coaches’ and players’ personal and professional lives. However, since episode one aired on March 6, there has been a ton of backlash from those depicted in the series.

Jerry West demanded an apology and that the streaming platform retracts his portrayal, calling it “baseless” and “malicious.” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had similar critiques, calling the depictions “caricatures, not characters.”

HBO provided a statement in response to the harsh criticism from the Lakers legends. The company stands by the work, according to the statement courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

“HBO has a long history of producing compelling content drawn from actual facts and events that are fictionalized in part for dramatic purposes. Winning Time is not a documentary and has not been presented as such. However, the series and its depictions are based on extensive factual research and reliable sourcing, and HBO stands resolutely behind our talented creators and cast who have brought a dramatization of this epic chapter in basketball history to the screen.”

Based on the statement, it doesn’t seem like West is going to get his apology or retracted portrayal anytime soon. The ninth episode of “Winning Time” airs on Sunday, May 1.