Winning Time Season 2 Updates, Cast & Story Setup

The first season of HBO’s sports drama is over, setting the stage for Winning Time season 2. Based on the true story of the Los Angeles Lakers rising to dominance during the 1980s after drafting Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Winning Time was one of HBO’s biggest original shows. The entirety of the first season focused on Magic Johnson’s rookie season and the quest for the Lakers to win the NBA Championship. Since Winning Time is focused on a real story that spans more than a decade and was later adapted as a book by Jeff Pearlman, this period of time for the Los Angeles Lakers is quite notable.



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As the first season unfolded, Winning Time showed Magic Johnson adjusting to the life of an NBA star and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar rediscovering his joy for basketball. Off the court, the Los Angeles Lakers franchise endured plenty of difficult times, such as finding a new coach after Jerry West quit and the transition of Jerry Buss becoming the owner. Created by Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht, Winning Time earned generally positive reviews as the series explored the 1979-1980 NBA season through the lens of Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers. Here’s what is known about Winning Time season 2 in terms of story, cast, and release.

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The Latest Winning Time Season 2 News

Winning Time Episode 1 Jerry Buss Design Missiles

There’s a lot of exciting Winning Time season 2 news and updates in the works, the first being that Ari Graynor has been added to the Winning Time season 2 cast. Graynor has had a long career in the industry, collaborating with comedians like Seth Rogen and James Franco for movies like The Disaster Artist (in which she played Lisa), but has also starred in films like Whip It and Like a Boss. Graynor will be playing the important recurring role of Honey in Winning Time season 2, a completely fictional character who finds inspiration in the former wives and girlfriends of Dr. Jerry Buss.

Her character is described to have left the party scene to run an art school in the valley, and she’s known to be free-spirited, intuitive, and outspoken. Buss will reach out to her at some point during Winning Time season 2, seeking a true love connection. In addition to this news, a Winning Time season 2 teaser trailer has been released. It heats up the famous rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the Lakers, eventually leading to the bombastic 1984 NBA finals.

Is Winning Time Season 2 Happening? Renewal Status Explained

Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson in Winning Time

HBO officially renewed Winning Time season 2 during the mid-point of the first season. The announcement came a few days before Winning Time episode 6 aired on HBO and Max. While season 1 had ten episodes, the installment count for Winning Time season 2 is smaller, seeing seven episodes for the season. Ultimately, this is a strange choice as it looks like Winning Time season 2 will cover a longer timeline. Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht will continue to work on the series, while director Adam McKay will also stay aboard as a producer. It is not known if McKay will direct any Winning Time season 2 episodes.

Winning Time Season 2 Release Date

Dr. Buss and Magic Johnson stand back to back in Winning Time

Audiences rejoice as there is an official Winning Time season 2 release date. Thanks to the trailer, it’s been revealed that Winning Time season 2 will hit HBO and Max on Sunday, August 6th, 2023. Much like Winning Time season 1, the second series will be releasing its episodes weekly, ending its run on September 17th, 2023. The show’s success is what prompted such a quick turnaround in between installments, as season 1 was released only a year and a half before the next season, premiering on HBO on March 6th, 2022.

Winning Time Season 2 Cast: Which Characters Could Return?

Winning Time Episode 5 True Story Fact Check Changes SR

The Winning Time season 2 cast should be filled with many of the cast members from season 1. The lineup of real-life characters needed to tell the next chapter in the story means viewers will see more of Magic Johnson (Quincy Isaiah), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Solomon Hughes), and Jerry Buss (John C. Reilly). The returns for Paul Westhead (Jason Segel), Pat Riley (Adrien Brody), Jeanie Buss (Hadley Robinson), Jerry West (Jason Clarke), Bill Sharman (Brett Cullen), Claire Rothman (Gabby Hoffman), Michael Cooper (Delante Desouza), Norm Nixon (DeVaughn Nixon), Larry Bird (Sean Patrick Small), and Cookie Kelly (Tamera Tomakili) have also been confirmed, and many of them can be seen in the trailer.

Michael Chiklis, who plays Red Auerbach, also tweeted a photo with himself and Reilly, showing that he will be a part of the Winning Time season 2 cast. Buss’ son Jimmy is played by actor McCabe Slye of the Fear Street movies and his character has been upgraded from a guest role to a series regular for Winning Time season 2. As previously mentioned, Ari Graynor (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) has joined the Winning Time cast as the fictional character Honey. Winning Time season 2 looks as though it’ll be digging even deeper into Buss’ personal life, between the addition of Graynor and Slye’s elevated role.

Winning Time Season 2 Story: What Season 1 Sets Up

Winning Time Episode 2 Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics Rivalry SR

After winning the NBA Championship in season 1, the Winning Time season 2 story should focus on the Los Angeles Lakers’ attempt to repeat. This can allow the series to focus on the 1980-1981 NBA season. This year proves to be a bit more difficult for the Lakers, which could mean that Winning Time season 2’s story encompasses the 1980-81 and 1981-82 NBA seasons. There is also a tease in Winning Time episode 10 of Larry Bird already getting to work to be better so he and the Boston Celtics can win a championship next, continuing the Lakers/Celtics 1980s rivalry. This should become a much bigger part of the story in Winning Time season 2.

The Winning Time season 2 trailer focuses solely on the rivalry between the Lakers and the Celtics, with Brody’s Pat Riley declaring that their NBA Championship win didn’t really count since it wasn’t a win against the Celtics. A title card reveals that the story will take place over the 1980-1981 season, which ends in real life with the Celtics going up against the Rockets and winning in the NBA finals. Other hints from the trailer suggest that Magic Johnson will be wholly reveling in his fame at the expense of his personal life, as Cookie reminds him over the phone that he can’t have it all.

Winning Time Season 2 Trailer

The 80s track “Obsession” by Animotion was the perfect choice to accompany the Winning Time season 2 trailer, as Magic Johnson is at the pinnacle of fame and enjoying it. The teaser opens with Buss declaring that the future of sports is purple and gold as announcers declare that the Lakers will be defending their title once more. A title card reveals that the year is 1980 and Magic is participating in countless press releases and interviews. The focus then shifts to the Magic Johnson/Larry Bird rivalry, as a television show reveals that the Celtics win the 1981 NBA championships and Pat Riley enforces the fact that they must win.

All episodes of Winning Time season 1 are now streaming on HBO Max.

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