HBO’s untitled series about the Los Angeles Lakers just lost one of its star players in Bo Burnham, who was slated to play Larry Bird. According to a source, Burnham will no longer take the court due to scheduling conflicts. Replacing Burnham as the legendary Celtics player is Sean Patrick Small.
Based on the Jeff Pearlman book “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s,” the untitled show will dramatize the professional and personal lives of the team, described in the series logline as “one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties — a team that defined its era, both on and off the court.”
A synopsis of “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s” via Amazon:
The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s personified the flamboyance and excess of the decade over which they reigned. Beginning with the arrival of Earvin “Magic” Johnson as the number-one overall pick of the 1979 draft, the Lakers played basketball with gusto and pizzazz, unleashing their famed “Showtime” run-and-gun style on a league unprepared for their speed and ferocity—and became the most captivating show in sports and, arguably, in all-around American entertainment. The Lakers’ roster overflowed with exciting all-star-caliber players, including center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and they were led by the incomparable Pat Riley, known for his slicked-back hair, his Armani suits, and his arrogant strut. Hollywood’s biggest celebrities lined the court and gorgeous women flocked to the arena. Best of all, the team was a winner. Between 1980 and 1991, the Lakers played in an unmatched nine NBA championship series, capturing five of them.
In addition to Small, the project has also added Olli Haaskivi as Phil Knight, the founder of Nike; Rachel Hilson as Cindy Day, the girlfriend of Magic Johnson; Newton Mayenge as Jim Chones, a veteran NBA forward; and Jon Young as Brad Holland, the only Laker wholesome enough to be nicknamed “Potsie.”
The cast for HBO’s Lakers series is already playing with a great starting lineup. John C. Reilly stars as Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gaby Hoffmann as Claire Rothman, Hadley Robinson as Jeanie Buss, DeVaughn Nixon as Norm Nixon, Molly Gordon as Linda Zafrani, Rob Morgan as Earvin Johnson Sr., Jason Segel as Paul Westhead, Michael Chiklis as Red Auerbach, Sally Field as Jessie Buss, Adrien Brody as Pat Riley, Spencer Garrett as Chick Hearn, Kirk Bovill as Donald Sterling, Delante Desouza as Michael Cooper, Stephen Adly Guirgis as Frank Mariani, Tamera Tomakili as Earletha “Cookie” Kelly, Joey Brooks as Lon Rosen, Gillian Jacobs as Chris Riley, Wood Harris as Spencer Haywood, Jimel Atkins as Jamaal Wilkes, Brett Cullen as Bill Sharman; LisaGay Hamilton as Christine Johnson, Andy Hirsch as David Stern, Lola Kirke as Karen West, Tracy Letts as Jack McKinney, and Sarah Ramos as Cheryl Pistono.
Are you bummed about losing Burnham as the legendary Larry Bird for this series? Let us know in the comments section below.