- Magic Johnson was recently interviewed as the cover star for Variety’s April 2022 issue.
- Johnson, 62, shared his thoughts on HBO’s new series about the LA Lakers, “Winning Time.”
- Johnson said neither HBO nor the show’s creative executives asked him or his teammates to participate.
Magic Johnson shared his thoughts about HBO’s new series “Winning Time: The Rise of the Laker Dynasty,” saying, “you can’t do a story about the Lakers without the Lakers.”
In a recently published interview with Variety’s Selome Hailu and Ramin Setoodeh, the former Lakers players discussed his upcoming docuseries, “They Call Me Magic,” and “Winning Time,” which premiered on March 6. The series follows the Los Angeles Lakers’ journey to success in the 1980s. “They Call Me Magic” is a four-part documentary and will premiere on April 22 on Apple TV+. The series will focus on his iconic basketball career as well as his global impact on and off the court.
Johnson told Variety that he refused to watch “Winning Time” after neither HBO nor the creative executives sought participation from him or his teammates.
“First of all, you can’t do a story about the Lakers without the Lakers,” Johnson told the outlet. “The real Lakers. You gotta have the guys. There’s no way to duplicate Showtime. I don’t care who you get.”
Representatives for Johnson and HBO did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
While reminiscing about his time on the Lakers, Johnston told Variety: “We changed basketball! Every time out, Paula Abdul and them beautiful Laker Girls came out on that floor. First time ever. Dancing girls! And they turnt it out.”
“All the latest music, and all the latest dances. You can’t duplicate that. We entertain you. Show you moves that you’ve only seen in the nightclub,” he said.
He also told the outlet he wanted to “hit” Howard Stern during a 1998 interview on his talk show.
The series’ showrunner Max Borenstein told Insider’s Jason Guerrasio that Jonah Hill directed the second episode of “Winning Time,” which led to a Scorsese influence.
Borenstein also shared that the “Winning Time” cast wanted to break the fourth wall after John C. Reily, who plays Lakers owner Jerry Buss, began doing it in his scenes.