26YO Actor Admits Bitter Defeat After ‘Magic Johnson’ Fails to Save Drowning Lakers Venture

Published 12/24/2023, 5:58 AM EST

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The hype around ‘Winning Time’ kept reducing as the episodes dropped one after the other. HBO’s TV series about the rise of the Los Angeles Lakers turned into a disaster after the second season was released. Harsh criticisms were passed and even former ‘Showtime’ stars like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jerry West couldn’t tolerate the show, which eventually led to its cancellation in September of this year. Well, we have heard what the viewers think about the show. Let’s see what one of the actors in the show has to say about it. 

Quincy Isaiah, the man who portrayed Magic Johnson himself, revealed his honest thoughts about the series. And he did not hold back. Looks like Isaiah saw the bad reviews coming already. He shared, “Honestly, once I heard we were getting canceled, it was a relief.”

“My shoulders went down. Because as much as I wanted to come back, it was like, ‘OK, now I know. It’s time to hit the pavement again’,” the 26-year-old actor explained. He admitted that knowing the series was over brought some certainty and allowed him to start focusing on other future projects. It shouldn’t be hard for him, after all, Isaiah performed his role well.


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His resemblance to Johnson and the accurate display of the 5x champion was much appreciated by most viewers. But Isaiah also revealed that season 2 was always an uphill battle. The actor added, “Because the season one numbers were mediocre, they’d said, season two had to make a splash and people were saying they didn’t even know it was on.” 

Well, that’s certainly got to sting. But perhaps not as much as the snubs from the Showtime Lakers themselves. A few Lakers stars knew the show was airing. But they wished it never did.

Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jerry West had issues with ‘Winning Time’

As mentioned above, this was a shot at an honest attempt, but the reality was far from the actual truth. Speaking of the plot, Magic Johnson believes ‘Winning Time’ is just fiction and nothing close to reality.


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The 3-time MVP revealed, I don’t know what this stuff ‘Winning Time’ is, I haven’t watched it, I’m not gonna watch it”. In fact, Johnson described it as a show about the Lakers, but without the Lakers.

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On the other hand, ‘Captain’ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar thought the show lacks characterization. He revealed in his blog post that the characters were bland, let alone the ‘deliberate dishonesty’. While Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar did not like a few things in the show, Lakers champion Jerry West absolutely hated the “cruel” way in which he was portrayed. His legal team revealed West’s character, “bears no resemblance to the real man”.


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Looks like it’s good that the ‘Winning Time’ has come to an end! What are your thoughts on the above story? Share your take in the comments below. 


Written by:

Rohan Dharmalingam


One take at a time

I could have never imagined getting a shoutout from Los Angeles Lakers icon Shaquille O'Neal and the rap legend 50 Cent on Instagram. But they say 'Dreams Do Come True' right? This is what EssentiallySports has given me. Covering trade rumors, contract signings, lives of NBA superstars and legends has been my go-to thing.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair