The series, which first appeared in early March with a disclaimer, was "disposeing some facts and events." It was supposed to give a bit of cover.
Seven weeks later, former coach and general manager Jerry West, depicted in the series by Jason Clarke, was sent to Warner Bros. Discovery, HBO, and producer Adam McKay, demanding a retraction, an apology, and unspecified damages for his "false and displeasure" portrayal. West, through his attorney, said those who watched his portrayal in Winning Time, which was inspired by a best-selling book by Jeff Pearlman, now believe him to be an "
The Hollywood Reporter claimed in a statement that: "HBO has a long history of producing compelling content that is based on factual research and reliable sourcing. However, the series and its depictions are based on extensive factual research and reliable sourcing, and HBO stands firmly behind our talented creators and cast who have brought this epic chapter in basketball history to the screen."
The show, which was created by Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht, has been embroiled in off-screen drama for years, dating back to Jerry Buss' then-owner and the subsequent demise of one of Hollywood's. But, just before, West's Magic Johnson (played by Quincy Isaiah) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the two Showtime-era players at Winning Time's center, were busy blasting the show. Yet, NBA officials are already reaching out to HBO
Still, its the depiction of West that appears to be most controversial in the two months since Winning Time began. Among them: "," by long-time Los Angeles Times sports writer Bill Plaschke. Among them: "He would never break clubs in a temper tantrum on a golf course,"
On his Abdul-Jabbar, West is criticized for being aggressive in his treatment. "It's a shame the way they approach Jerry West, who has openly discussed his depression and mental health, according to him. "They turn him into a cartoon based on Wile E. Coyote. He never broke golf clubs, but he did not throw his trophy through the window. But these actions are reminiscent of a simple exploitation of the character."
This isn't exactly the new ground for HBO or McKay. In an interview with HBO programming president Casey Bloys, he highlighted how much his team had dealing with projects that focused on real-world people and events, and rattling off examples like Game Change, Recount, Chernobyl, and Paterno. And McKay, who is no stranger to either side of this country, was similarly nonplussed: "You get the fact-checkers, you check with the lawyers
McKay and the writers have teamed up to discuss their extensive research process, particularly with Pearlman's, on page 68, where they said: "I have broken a lot of clubs in my life. On purpose. There was a place not far from Bel-Air Country Club that repaired them, and I would often put a broken club (or two) before they opened, without a note. No note was required, because they knew the clubs were mine. If you don't believe me, ask Pat Riley
The question whether or not West will be successful if he chooses to sue for defamation is now hotly debated, and the show's audience is continuing to grow. In fact, Winning Time, which included the infamous West scene on the golf course, has now reached 7.2 million viewers. With two episodes left in season one, the writer is.