Jeff Pearlman: Quincy Isaiah ‘oozes Magic Johnson’ in HBO’s ‘Winning Time’
Buying Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynastythe “Showtime”-era Los Angeles Lakers series is set to premiere on HBO Max on March 6.
The series is based on Jeff Pearlman’s 2014 book, Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty of the 1980sand in anticipation and promotion of the premiere of Winning Time, the author is currently making the rounds to talk about adapting his book and his experience watching it become a television production.
Pearlman appeared on The Rich Eisen Show last week and praised the cast to guest host Suzy Shuster. Actors like John C. Reilly, Jason Clarke, and Adrien Brody are very accomplished and award-winning actors. So you’d expect Pearlman to say they’re awesome on this show.
But the big unknown before Winning Time’s debut is Quincy Isaiah’s performance as Earvin “Magic” Johnson. It’s been a key role since the Lakers drafted Magic in 1979 and kicked off the “Showtime” era. It’s yet to be seen how much of Isaiah is featured, but he’s featured prominently in trailers for the series and looks the part, so it seems safe to assume viewers will see a lot of him.
Pearlman was hugely impressed with Isaiah, not just by his performance but by his life story, and thinks viewers will feel the same when they watch.
“You look at it and it just oozes Magic Johnson,” Pearlman said. ” It’s strange. My wife and I would look at it and say, ‘Is this magic? No, it’s Quincy who plays Magic. They nail it. They just nail it. It’s one of the best casting bits I’ve ever seen on a TV show. It happens to be based on my book.
Shuster teased Pearlman by saying naturally that everyone involved in winning time is great because the production is based on his book and he wants people to watch. Pearlman acknowledged this, but said if he didn’t think an actor’s performance was very good, he wouldn’t say anything.
Buying Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynastypremieres on HBO Max on Sunday, March 6.