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HBO has defended its new miniseries, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, amid criticism from former Los Angeles Lakers coach and general manager Jerry West.
Released on 6 March, the series is advertised as “a dramatisation of certain facts and events”, as it depicts the Los Angeles Lakers NBA team in the 1980s.
Seven weeks after its debut, however, West demanded legal retraction of the series, describing its portrayal of him as “deliberately false” and “baseless”.
Now, nearly a week later, HBO has responded in an exclusive statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday (26 April).
It reads: “HBO has a long history of producing compelling content drawn from actual facts and events that are fictionalised in part for dramatic purposes. Winning Time is not a documentary and has not been presented as such.
“However, the series and its depictions are based on extensive factual research and reliable sourcing, and HBO stands resolutely behind our talented creators and cast who have brought a dramatisation of this epic chapter in basketball history to the screen.”
In the series, West is portrayed as a man with a violent temper, prone to smashing inanimate objects in frustration.
Despite West’s claims that the series had “caused great distress to Jerry and his family”, the show has already been renewed for a second season.
You can read The Independent’s full review here.
Winning Time is available to stream on HBO Max in the US and Sky and NOW TV in the UK.