“The Last Dance” launched basketball in the cultural zeitgeist. Last December, HBO announced they are developing a drama series about the Los Angeles Lakers from the 1980s, known as the Showtime Lakers. Last night it was announced the show landed its headliner. Academy Award winner Adrien Brody will play Pat Riley.
If there was a team that has a lot to offer for a drama series, it was the Showtime Lakers, on and off the court. In between Magic joining Kareem in the purple and gold, Pat Riley getting the head coaching job, and winning four titles, there was a lot of partying in The Forum. The Lakers arena was also the home to LA’s hottest club at the time, so there won’t be a lack of stories to chose from. The series is based on Jeff Pearlman’s non-fiction book “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.”
The show is produced by Adam McKay, the director/producer/writer known for Anchorman, The Big Short, Vice, and Succession, to name a few. Mckay also directed the pilot, but we will have to wait for the show – its release is planned for 2022. With COVID restrictions, we hope there won’t be production delays, and we don’t have to wait even further.
As anyone who watched a sports movie or TV show knows, realistically portraying sports is one of the most difficult things to do on screen. There won’t be a Ray Allen making the game look good, but the casting director obviously took athletic ability into account. Here’s some of the cast.
Solomon Hughes, who’ll be playing Kareem, is a 6’11 former captain of the University of California, Berkeley, basketball team. Hughes professionally in the USBL and ABA and in Mexico’s pro league and was also a Harlem Globetrotter. So we know at least one guy out there will know what to do on the court.
For the rest, they always have slow motion. That’s how Ron Shelton covered up the fact Wesley Snipes couldn’t play ball to save his life.