HBO's "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty" fell short of expectations, attracted Hollywood strikes, and drew criticism from former Los Angeles Lakers players, ultimately leading to its cancellation after a brief two-season run.

Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Credit Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

HBO's series "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty," inspired by the iconic Los Angeles Lakers team, made its debut in March 2022 but concluded its global run after just 1.5 years.

HBO has recently delivered disappointing news to fans, announcing the cancellation of the show after its Season 2 finale, which also serves as the series finale.

The show, which showcased the Lakers and their legendary players like Jerry West, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during the 1980s "Showtime" era, had initially received a renewal for a second season just a month after its debut.

It drew its inspiration from Jeff Pearlman's book, "Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s."

Pearlman himself expressed concern a month ago about the possibility of a Season 3 due to the ongoing Hollywood strikes, which hindered actors and writers from promoting the show.

"Winning Time" struggled to find its footing. Season 1 refrained from displaying a basketball game until its fifth episode, while Season 2 took a different approach by covering four years of the team's story in a single season.

Former Lakers players also expressed dissatisfaction with the series. Jerry West's attorney penned a letter asserting that the show unjustly portrayed West as an uncontrollable, intoxicated figure.

Abdul-Jabbar further shared his thoughts on the series via Substack, labeling it as "uninteresting" and ultimately concluding that "Winning Time" failed to capture the truly captivating and culturally significant story it aimed to tell.

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