The Big Picture

  • HBO’s Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty will not be returning for a third season as revealed by series creator, Max Borenstein, after the finale of the sophomore season.
  • Borenstein expressed gratitude and love despite the unexpected ending.
  • The ratings for the second season of the series took a hit, ultimately contributing to its abrupt ending.

Despite the show being called “Winning Time”, telling the story of the five-time championship winning Lakers of the 1980s, HBO’s Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty will not be returning for a third season. After airing the season finale of its sophomore season, it was confirmed by HBO that the basketball series will not be making a comeback to the court. The sports series was created by Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht with the news of the cancelation confirmed by Borenstein on X (formerly Twitter).

He wrote on the platform: “Not the ending that we had in mind. But nothing but gratitude and love.” The sophomore season finale saw the Lakers, led by Larry Bird (Sean Patrick Small), lose the 1984 NBA Championship to the Boston Celtics in heartbreaking fashion. However, the Lakers won’t have an opportunity to reclaim their crown in a third season. Also speaking on the news, series director Salli Richardson wrote on Instagram saying “When you give it everything you’ve got, you can have no regrets. I hope you enjoy the last episode of @winningtimehbo I am sure I will do many more hours of TV and hopefully many features in my future, but I can say that at this moment in time I am most proud of the work we did on this masterful show.”

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is based on the book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s by Jeff Pearlman. The future of the series had been tenuous for a while, and this had prompted Pearlman to take to social media to spur people to watch the series. “I’m telling you — the future of “Winning Time” hangs in the balance. We need viewers. The strikes are crippling. Please help spread the word. Season 2 is amazing. But … HBO is big on #s,” he wrote on X last month. However, the ratings for the second season have taken a hit which has ultimately contributed to the show’s abrupt ending.

Image via HBO

‘Winning Time’ Has an All-Star Cast List

Winning Time sought to depict the golden age of the Lakers in the 80s, despite getting considerable push back with former Lakers Jerry West and Magic Johnson questioning the work done on the show. With Johnson saying: “You can’t do a story about the Lakers without the Lakers. The real Lakers. You gotta have the guys.” Johnson is portrayed by Quincy Isaiah, and Jerry Buss who owned the franchise at the time played by John C. Reilly.

The series also stars Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis, and Jason Segel. Other cast members include Jason Clarke, Gaby Hoffmann, Hadley Robinson, DeVaughn Nixon, Solomon Hughes, Tamera Tomakili, Brett Cullen, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Spencer Garrett, Molly Gordon, Joey Brooks, and Delante Desouza. Further rounding out the cast of the series are Jimel Atkins, Thomas Mann, Austin Aaron, McCabe Slye, Gillian Jacobs and Rob Morgan.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is available to stream on Max.

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By asm3a