Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

1 season

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A flashy, sexy, and deeply emotional journey into the world of the “Showtime” era Lakers, with true-to-life events and greatest moments relived.


Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty transports you back to the late 70s during a major transitional period for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. From the outside looking in, the show looks like your run-of-the-mill sports drama, but it is so much more than that.

Winning Time covers subjects such as race, religion, sex, and feminism in a way that gives viewers a realistic glimpse into the ups-and-downs of professional sports and what it takes to make a team legendary. The first six episodes follow a rookie Magic Johnson during the first moments of his professional career, and introduces well-known figures like Dr. Buss, Pat Reilly, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Monica's thoughts

After some major convincing on my husband’s part, I recently sat down and watched the first six episodes of Winning Time. I was expecting a basic, Hollywood-esque rendition of the story of Magic Johnson, but was pleasantly surprised by where the show ended up going.

Winning Time focuses on several women whose contributions launched the team towards the Lakers we know them as today. The show powerfully highlights the racial and religious tensions of the era, as well the lack of feminism and sexualization of women during the late 70s and early 80s. It also showcases the budding careers of Jeanie Buss and Paula Abdul, the powerful and heartbreaking relationship between Cookie and Magic Johnson, and sheds light on the emotional and physical toll on the players, the coaches, and their families. Even though I’m not a sports fanatic, I was hooked on the drama from the first episode!