Why Winning Time's Creator Is Comparing the Sports Drama to The Crown

Series creator Max Borenstein likened HBO's Winning Time to Netflix's The Crown in a wide-ranging interview about season one.

By Cydney Contreras May 09, 2022 6:54 PMTags
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If Winning Time creator Max Borenstein says that the series is like The Crown, does that make Jerry Buss the Lakers' Queen Elizabeth?

The HBO show is about the Los Angeles Lakers, but Borenstein argues that it's similar to The Crown in that there's a family at the center of this famous institution. As he put it to Deadline, "it's the story of a dynasty, and so much like The Crown, right, where you're telling a dynasty story."

He continued, "We don't have royal families but we do have celebrities and we have this franchise that is for me even more fascinating than the royal family."

While The Crown has the Windsors, the Lakers have the Buss family, who have held majority ownership of the team since 1979 and are a huge part of the Lakers' history. Borenstein hopes to tell their part of the story in the series, sharing, "The life of Jerry Buss, and the growth of Jeanie Buss, who winds up ultimately in a power struggle with her brothers, after her father's death, becoming the head of the organization and a brilliant owner in her own right."

How the Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty Cast Compares to Real-Life Counterparts

And Borenstein feels that the real-life aspect to the story gives the writers new material to work with, especially as they look to season two. "It's a gift that keeps on giving," he explained. "It doesn't run out of steam and fuel quickly, partly because it's not a traditional sports story about winning or losing a single season or a single game."

Warrick Page/HBO

Borenstein confirmed that fans will get to see more games though, saying that Magic Johnson's rivalry with Larry Bird will take centerstage in season two: "We know we want Magic and Bird to face each other again, and they have these little skirmishes and these teases in games that don't really count," he promised. "But they're going to get there."

The co-creator also touched on the criticism that the series producers have faced from the real-life subjects, saying that he understands where they're coming from. However, all he can say is that they're making this show in "good faith."

For those who wish to understand the story from Magic Johnson's perspective, check out his docu-series They Call Me Magic, streaming now on Apple TV+.

Winning Time is streaming now on HBO.

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