NBA icon and Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West is declaring the depiction of his character in HBO’s “Worthwhile Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” to be “cruel” and “deliberately false,” and is demanding a retraction inside two weeks from in the intervening time.
“The portrayal of…West…is fiction pretending to be actuality — a deliberately false characterization that has induced good distress to Jerry and his family,” Skip Miller, West’s lawyer, acknowledged in a press launch. “Reverse to the baseless portrayal inside the HBO sequence, Jerry had nothing nevertheless love for and harmony with the Lakers group, and particularly proprietor Dr. Jerry Buss, all through an interval throughout which he assembled one in every of many greatest teams in NBA historic previous.”
The docuseries, which premiered in March, reveals how the Eighties Los Angeles Lakers, with the help of rookie Earvin “Magic” Johnson and veteran Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, created the workers’s “Showtime” interval, realizing Buss’ revolutionary imaginative and prescient of mixing muscular athleticism with noisy, attractive leisure.
Throughout the sequence, West, as carried out by Australian actor Jason Clarke, is a hot-tempered, foul-mouthed authorities given to furious tantrums and mood swings.
In a letter despatched to HBO, Warner Bros., Discovery, and authorities producer Adam McKay, who directed the current’s pilot, West’s attorneys acknowledged “Worthwhile Time” “falsely and cruelly portrays Mr. West as an out-of-control, intoxicated rage-aholic. The Jerry West in ‘Worthwhile Time’ bears no resemblance to the true man. The precise Jerry West prided himself on treating people with dignity and respect. ‘Worthwhile Time’ is a baseless and malicious assault on Jerry West’s character. You decreased the legacy of an 83-year outdated legend and place model to that of a vulgar and unprofessional bully — the polar reverse of the true man.”
The letter moreover declares that the sequence has damaged the “Showtime” legacy of the Lakers.
“For the avid gamers, coaches and the whole Lakers group this was a magical and excellent time; they often, along with Jerry West, liked it and obtained alongside good with one another,” acknowledged the letter. “This actuality is instantly reverse to the portrayals in your current.
“Sadly, your false portrayal of the Lakers in your current has induced harm to the celebrity of the Lakers group and its people. A couple of of the individuals portrayed have handed away and are unable to defend themselves. For others, it has tarnished their reputations and confirmed them in a harmful false mild…You took a cheerful and great worthwhile Lakers interval and turned it proper right into a pulpy cleansing cleaning soap opera. You depicted the parents in a false mild, on no account who they’re, to garner rankings and grow to be worthwhile.”
The letter moreover accommodates testimonials from former Lakers Michael Cooper and Jamaal Wilkes, former Lakers regular supervisor Mitch Kupchak, the current president of the Charlotte Hornets, and others who found the characterization of Jerry to be “egregious and cruel,” acknowledged Miller.
The letter comes on the heels of a blistering essay by Abdul-Jabbar, who known as “Worthwhile Time” “boring” and “deliberately dishonest.”
“The characters are crude stick-figure representations that resemble precise people one of the best ways Lego Hans Solo resembles Harrison Ford,” wrote Abdul-Jabbar. “Each character is decreased to a single daring trait as if the writers have been afraid one thing further superior would tax the viewers’ comprehension. Jerry Buss is Egomaniac Entrepreneur, Jerry West is Crazed Coach, Magic Johnson is Sexual Simpleton, I’m Pompous P—. They’re caricatures, not characters.”
Added Abdul-Jabbar: “It’s a shame one of the best ways they take care of Jerry West, who has openly talked about his battle with psychological properly being, notably despair. In its place of exploring his factors with compassion as a technique to larger understand the particular person, they flip him proper right into a Wile E. Coyote cartoon to be laughed at. He on no account broke golf golf tools, he didn’t throw his trophy by the window. Sure, these actions make dramatic moments, nevertheless they reek of facile exploitation of the particular person considerably than exploration of character.”
McKay and the current’s totally different producers have acknowledged that the sequence was extensively researched, and that the endeavor was developed out of admiration and love for the Lakers.
The Events has reached out to HBO and West for comment and may exchange this story accordingly.