Winning time no longer wins.
HBO canceled the series – full title Buying Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty — after two seasons. The news came as a surprise, coming just moments after the network aired the second season finale Sunday night.
Co-creator Max Borenstein confirmed the news on X (formerly Twitter): “Not the ending we had in mind. But nothing but gratitude and love.
And director Salli Richardson posted on Instagram: “When you give everything you have, you can have no regrets. Hope you enjoy the latest episode of @winkingtimehbo. I’m sure I’ll be doing many more hours of television and hopefully many feature films in my future, but I can say that right now I’m very proud of the work we’ve done on this . masterful show.
In an interview conducted with THR In late August, Richardson shared his hopes for a third season, given how the finale played out. “Obviously you see how the season ends. So we would like to have, at a minimum, even if we can do it for years, one more season for the Lakers to win against the Celtics. We don’t want to end it with the Celtics winning. It’s horrible,” she told THR. “I think people realized this season that if you just watch the show instead of judging it without seeing it, it’s a great show. is a well-written show with incredible performances. And you don’t have to be a basketball fan to enjoy it. I think what Jeff was trying to say is that he just hopes people find this little gem that exists, because it’s really a great series and I’m proud to be part of it.
The show, which debuted in March 2022, focuses on the Los Angeles Lakers NBA team and its rise in the early 1980s. The first season highlighted Jerry Buss’ first year as owner of the Magic Johnson’s team and rookie year, 1979-80. The second season takes place during the following four-year period.
The show was created by Borenstein and Jim Hecht, based on the book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty by Jeff Pearlman.
During the series premiere, she was criticized by the Lakers as well as former Lakers coach and general manager Jerry West, played in the series by Jason Clarke. At the time, West sent a legal letter to Warner Bros. Discovery, HBO and series producer Adam McKay demanding a retraction, apology and unspecified damages for the “false and defamatory portrayal.” West argued, through his lawyer, that those who saw his portrait in Winning time now believe he is an “uncontrollable, drunken rage addict.”
In response, HBO said The Hollywood Reporter that the network “has a long history of producing compelling content drawn from real 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 sources, and HBO strongly supports our talented creators and actors who have brought to the screen a dramatization of this epic chapter in basketball history.
Former Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson also took issue with the series, with the former calling it a “boring” series with “crass depictions of stick figures that look like real people.”
For his part, Johnson said, “You can’t do a story about the Lakers without the Lakers. The real Lakers. You gotta get it guys.