Mike Epps will be playing Richard Pryor in a new HBO series about the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Deadline. The series is based on Jeff Pearlman's book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, and Epps joins a large cast. The series will be produced by Adam McKay and written by Max Borenstein.
As mentioned by Deadline, the cast includes Carina Conti, who plays Paula Abdul. Max E. Williams will portray Lakers superfan Jack Nicholson, and Mariama Diallo will play Iman, wife of Laker Spencer Haywood. Some of the other cast members who were previously announced are: Rory Cochrane as Jerry Tarkanian, Danny Burstein as Vic Weiss, Austin Aaron as Mark Landsberger, Ta’Nika Gibson as Debbie Allen, Edwin Hodge as Ron Boone, Terence Davis as Adrian Dantley Ja’Quan Cole as Ron Carter, Gillian Jacobs as Chris Riley, Wood Harris as Spencer Haywood, Tracy Letts as Jack McKinney, Julianne Nicholas as Cranny McKinney, Jimel Atkins as Jamaal Wilkes, LisaGay Hamilton as Christine Johnson, and Andy Hirsch as David Stern.
The series also stars John C. Reilly as late Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Jason Clarke as Lakers legend Jerry West. It was reported filming of the series began in April and will end on Halloween. “Alongside Adam McKay and Max Borenstein, HBO couldn’t be more thrilled to examine one of professional sports’ most beloved empires,” said Francesca Orsi, executive VP HBO Programming back in December 2019, per The Hollywood Reporter. “Across 1980s Los Angeles, we’ll experience the exhilarating ride of a team that dominated a decade of basketball, and watch them not only achieve iconic status but transform the sport in every way.”
Epps 50, who stars in the Netflix series The Upshaws, is a big fan of the NBA. In an interview with The Undefeated in 2019, Epps talked about his love for the Indiana Pacers and his friendship with Packers center Myles Turner.
"My man Amp Harris has always been the liaison between athletes and entertainers here in this town, and he brought Myles to the comedy show. Myles enjoyed it, and we’ve been kicking it ever since. Every time I talk to him, we’re just talking about how to better the community and improve the kids." And when it comes to being a Pacers fan, Epps said: "Man, I’ve been a Pacers fan since Billy Knight, since the late ’70s, so to talk to me about Pacers, I’m just a die-hard fan, period."