Jerry West has seen HBO’s Winning Time, and he’s pissed. The Lakers legend sent his legal team at the Miller Barondess LLP law firm to give HBO and Winning Time producer Adam McKay two weeks to issue an apology and retraction for their portrayal of West as an “out-of-control, intoxicated rage-aholic,” according to the letter obtained by ESPN. West’s gripes with the show are many, but they all center around his belief Winning Time is selling viewers lies as truth. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar provided a statement in West's letter contending West never threw his 1969 NBA Finals MVP trophy through his office window or broke any golf clubs. If you let West tell the story, he “had nothing but love for and harmony with the Lakers organization.” Other people depicted in the show, such as Great Western Forum general manager Claire Rothman, supported West’s recollection of his time with the Lakers.
"Jerry treated me and everyone else in the Lakers organization with dignity and respect. I never saw Jerry break or throw anything in anger or rage, nor did I hear anyone ever say he did such things," Rothman stated in the West's lawyers' letter. West's hope for an apology is most likely futile. In a Hollywood Reporter feature from February, McKay, who also produces Succession for HBO, didn't sweat any possible legal concerns about the show because he did enough due diligence to feel confident in what he's putting on screen. “You get the fact-checkers, you check with the lawyers, and there are very clear parameters: You’re never going to create character-defining moments; it’s always going to be within the realm of the true story.
Even if McKay and HBO were willing to retract their portrayal of West, his depiction of his time with the Lakers isn't entirely accurate either. The characterization of his time with the Lakers as nothing but love and harmony is a bit of a stretch. No one spends decades with one company and leaves with only stories of smiles and goodwill. Former Lakers guard Norm Nixon is depicted in the show and consulted on it, and has no-so-fond memories of his time with West. In a 1983 Sports Illustrated feature, Nixon remembers West unfairly bullying the young guard in his 1977 rookie year. "Here I am, a rookie, playing with veterans like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Adrian Dantley, Jamaal Wilkes, and Lou Hudson," Nixon says. "So if you're the coach, who are you going to direct your frustration at? I think a lot of it was unfair." Maybe West and all of his Laker friends forgot about this since it, and everything that happened in Winning Time, occurred decades ago. In the midst of all of this controversy, HBO still renewed Winning Time for a second season. So, there'll probably be more fake history for people to get really mad over.
All of the big streaming platforms have fascinating new movies and shows out on streaming this weekend, so let’s highlight one from each! Dive deeper into the world of social media stars through the new Netlfix-original series Hype House; you will not believe that there is more to learn about these people than what they already share with the would via TikTok. Over on Amazon Prime Video, George Clooney is directing a new drama film, The Tender Bar, starring Ben Affleck and Tye Sheridan. Hulu is teaching an amazing history lesson this weekend through ABC’s new historical drama series, The Women of the Movement. Last, but certainly not least, is the season 2 premiere of the hit HBO Max series, Euphoria. We have been waiting for this one for a while, and the dark teen drama is ready to pay off! Curious to find out more? Check out the rest of the hit titles new on streaming this weekend below: