HBO's 'Raunchy' Lakers Show Poised to Offend NBA, Real-Life Subjects and Their Families

A new show about the Los Angeles Lakers is set to premiere on HBO, and the NBA is not happy about it. According to Matthew Belloni of Puck, the NBA does not like the new Lakers series, which is being called Showtime. Belloni said he talked to someone who has seen the pilot and said it's "raunchy, filled with drugs and womanizing, and it is said to portray [Jerry] Buss as a misogynist party boy. Buss was the Lakers owner during their team's championship run in the 1980s. In Showtime, Buss will be played by John C. Reilly. 

The report goes on to say that no one from the NBA is making any money off the show, and Buss' daughter and current Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has set up her own behind-the-scenes Lakers project with Mindy Kaling at Netflix. The Lakers have not commented on the show, and the NBA is concerned about providing free publicity. NBA lawyers have reportedly contacted HBO and said they are "monitoring" and will take legal action if team trademarks and logos are used. The interesting thing about all this is HBO's sister company is Turner Broadcasting which airs NBA games. 

Showtime is based on the book titled the same name by Jeff Pearlman. The book depicts the NBA lifestyle that started with the Lakers era in 1979. None of the members of the Lakers who played during that time are involved in the show, but former Laker Rick Fox is a consultant. Deborah Morales, the longtime manager of Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, has a big problem with the actor who is playing him. 

"When the guy they cast to play Kareem got the part, he was super excited and reached out to me," she told Belloni via text. "I don't think that he realized the response that he was going to get, which was not very nice!" She continued: "I don't think anybody who has accepted a part playing any of these characters will be embraced by anyone in the NBA or any of the players or any of their friends—and I certainly hope that I never bump into anyone associated with this show."

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Showtime is created by Adam McKay who has directed several notable films such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Step Brothers and the new Netflix movie Don't Look Up. Along with Reilly, the series also stars Jason Clarke, Jason Segel, Michael Chiklis and Sally Field among others. Showtime will premiere in March 2022.