Former LA Lakers executive Jerry West has hit back at the HBO Max series Winning Time, demanding a retraction and apology.
West’s representatives have stated that HBO owe “Jerry a public apology and at the very least should retract their baseless and defamatory portrayal of him”
Winning Time is the latest hit series from HBO Max and follows John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Jason Clarke as Jerry West and plenty of other Lakers icons during the 1980’s.
It’s “fiction pretending to be fact,” says West’s attorney. “Contrary to the baseless portrayal in the HBO series, Jerry had nothing but love for and harmony with the Lakers organisation, and in particular owner Dr. Jerry Buss.”
Love Film & TV?
Get the latest Film & TV news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
“Jerry West was an integral part of the Lakers and NBA’s success. It is a travesty that HBO has knowingly demeaned him for shock value and the pursuit of ratings.”
They also accuse HBO of purposely ignoring the book which the series is based on and “goes out of its way to denigrate Jerry West” and “implies that Jerry tried to sabotage the drafting of Magic Johnson.”
“Contrary to the show, the book leaves readers with the true impression of Jerry as a brilliant and thoughtful GM. Your extreme departure from the books shows malice in your false portrayal.”
Former Lakers player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar slammed HBO for turning West “into a Wile E. Coyote cartoon to be laughed at.”
“He never broke golf clubs, he didn’t throw his trophy through the window,” he continues. “Sure, those actions make dramatic moments, but they reek of facile exploitation of the man rather than exploration of the character.”
Another ex-Laker, Mitch Kupchak, labelled West as “professional, even-keeled and soft spoken.”
“He always keeps his composure and remains calm, even when he has a disagreement with someone. Last, I’ve never heard or seen Jerry ever break or throw anything in anger.”
HBO are yet to respond to the claim.
Australians can catch Winning Time on Binge.