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HBO’s Showtime Lakers show has cast its Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

HBO still has yet to announce the title for its upcoming series about the 1980s “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers, but they have found a pair of actors to play the roles of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, according to Joe Otterson of Variety:

Variety has learned that Quincy Isaiah has been cast as Earvin “Magic” Johnson, while Solomon Hughes will star as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the hour-long drama. The Johnson character is described as being as gifted in the game as he is magnetic in his life. His fast-paced, captivating style of play revolutionizes the sport of basketball even as his style of celebrity transforms the social fabric of the culture.

The Abdul-Jabbar character’s intelligence, talent, and political activism have made him a living legend but his introverted nature leads him to be misunderstood by not only the public, but his own teammates. He is deeply sensitive after a lifetime of betrayals, but the arrival of rookie Johnson sparks his gradual journey to open up to those around him; a quest that re-inspires his love of the game.

Isaiah and Hughes will join actors such as John C. Reilly (who will play Dr. Jerry Buss) and Jason Clarke (Jerry West) on cast.

The “Showtime” Lakers were one of the most dominant dynasties in NBA Lakers, winning five championships in the 1980s and possessing some of the most charismatic and outspoken personalities in the sport, including Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson.

Both Magic and Kareem currently serve as ambassadors to the sport, though Johnson is of course coming off an unsuccessful and tumultuous two-year stint as the president of basketball operations for the Lakers.