First, it was Magic Johnson, and now it’s the logo Jerry West, who isn’t a fan of his portrayal on HBO’s Winning Time series.
In a statement obtained by ESPN, which the outlet states was sent to the network and executive producer Adam McKay, representatives for the former Lakers player, coach, and general manager said the series “falsely and cruelly portrays Mr. West as an out-of-control, intoxicated rage-aholic.” The series, centering on the Showtime era of the storied Lakers franchise during the 1980s, includes Jason Clarke as West and John C. Reilly as then-team owner Dr. Jerry Buss.
The show is based on Jeff Pearlman’s book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s. West himself referred to the series as a “baseless and malicious assault” on his character.
Skip Miller, one of West’s lawyers and a partner at Miller Barondess, LLP law firm, said the show is based on the fabrication that attempts to create facts that have “caused great distress to West and his family.”
“… Jerry [West] had nothing but love for and harmony with the Lakers organization, and in particular owner Dr. Jerry Buss, during an era in which he assembled one of the greatest teams in NBA history,” the statement said, per ESPN.
West has long been considered one of the best men and mentors to several generations of NBA talents to step foot in the league. It’s very easy to see how upset he could be with the HBO show’s view of him, considering he is considered a Laker legend and never that of a tyrant.