Jerry West wants apology, and more for ‘Winning Time’ portrayal

Jerry West believes he has been wronged by the best way he has been depicted in HBO’s “Successful Time” sequence in regards to the Nineteen Eighties Showtime Lakers and he desires it made proper.

The Corridor of Famer and his authorized staff despatched a letter to HBO and the present’s producer Adam McKay. The letter, which was obtained by ESPN, demanded an apology, a retraction and damages from the community. It claims the present has made a “baseless” and “malicious assault” on the character of the previous Lakers participant, coach and government. It asks for a retraction, no later than two weeks from the receipt of the letter, and a public apology.

“The portrayal of NBA icon and L.A. Lakers legend Jerry West in ‘Successful Time’ is fiction pretending to be truth — a intentionally false characterization that has prompted nice misery to Jerry and his household,” Skip Miller, an legal professional for West, stated in accordance with ESPN.

The letter stated “Successful Time” falsely and cruelly portrays West, who performed 14 seasons for the Lakers and coached them for 3, as an out-of-control and rage-filled drunk.

Jerry West

In keeping with ESPN, West’s authorized staff believes HBO’s disclaimer on the sequence calling it a “dramatization” doesn’t insulate the community from legal responsibility. The present, which has aired on Sundays since March 6, relies on Jeff Pearlman’s e-book “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the Nineteen Eighties.” West’s authorized staff stated that as a result of the incidences of rage proven in “Successful Time” don’t seem in Pearlman’s e-book, the present has acted with “authorized malice.”

“Jerry West was an integral a part of the Lakers and NBA’s success,” Miller stated. “It’s a travesty that HBO has knowingly demeaned him for shock worth and the pursuit of scores.”

The letter included statements from a number of former Lakers gamers, together with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and prime staff brass akin to Claire Rothman, who ran the Nice Western Discussion board, and Mitch Kupchak, a Lakers participant within the early Nineteen Eighties and later West’s assistant common supervisor.

Abdul-Jabbar described the depiction of West as “a Wile E. Coyote cartoon to be laughed at” and stated West by no means broke golf golf equipment or threw a trophy via a window, each of that are depicted within the present. Rothman described West as somebody who handled her with “dignity and respect” and denied ever seeing suits of rage from him.

West’s legal professionals additionally tried to set the document straight about their shopper’s function within the Lakers’ determination to draft Magic Johnson first general in 1979. They, in accordance with ESPN, claimed the sequence denigrates West (who’s performed by Jason Clarke) by displaying him go on profanity-filed tirades, implying he tried to sabotage the Lakers’ number of Johnson and that he had a private concern with the eventual five-time NBA champion and fellow Corridor of Famer.

Jerry West performed by Jason Clarke within the HBO sequence “Successful Time.”

In keeping with his legal professionals, West, who was a staff scout on the time of the 1979 NBA Draft, did inform the Lakers they need to contemplate Sidney Moncrief (who went fifth general to the Bucks) with the No. 1-overall decide due to his scoring potential, however the final determination was made by proprietor Jack Kent Cooke.

West, who turned Lakers GM in 1982, was the highest government for eight NBA championship groups — six with the Lakers and two with the Golden State Warriors — and was named NBA Govt of the Yr twice. In keeping with ESPN, his authorized staff believes West’s success as an government has been glossed over by the sequence and he as an alternative has been depicted as a “clueless bumpkin carrying a fishing hat to follow,” which they declare didn’t occur.

West’s depiction within the present has develop into a scorching matter of dialog. Longtime Celtics beat author Bob Ryan took concern with it whereas on Colin Cowherd’s podcast earlier this week. He stated the best way West has been introduced within the present was “unrealistic” and “embarrassing”

Pearlman took issue with Ryan’s comments on Twitter, noting that the present is just not a documentary and that the inventive liberties taken by HBO aren’t any completely different than these in different sports activities movies.

“Reality be informed, the present is reminding individuals of Showtime’s greatness, and evoking wealthy recollections of a wonderful time in NBA historical past,” Pearlman tweeted Monday. “Are the characters actual suits? No. They’re (look forward to it) actors utilizing (look forward to it) scripts written by (look forward to it) writers. And the writing is insanely sharp, sensible, cool.”

Ryan was unmoved by Pearlman’s response tweeting that “gullible individuals” will see the depiction as truth and the portrayal of West is “reprehensible and borderline prison.”

“His three phrases to Adam McKay ought to be ‘See my lawyer,’ ” Ryan wrote.

West seems to have agreed.

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