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NBA Not Happy With HBO’s Lakers Series

“Executive Producer Adam McKay hopes that some of those people will have their minds changed once they see the finished product.”

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HBO/Hyperobject

Are you looking forward to finally seeing Winning Time when it debuts on HBO? If you answered yes, you are very different from a number of people associated with the NBA. A cover story for The Hollywood Reporter by Lacey Rose details that the league, the Lakers, and several players have expressed a distinct lack of support for the series in various ways.

The league did not get creative input on the series. It also did not authorize the use of any logos or trademarks. NBA lawyers have already reached out to HBO to point this out.

As for the former players, Rose writes that several of the stars of the Showtime-era Lakers “allegedly detest [Winning Time’s] very existence.” She has sources that say former players are worried about just how much of the real story is going to be told. They wish they or the league had some way to “whitewash” what makes it to the screen.

Magic Johnson, in particular, doesn’t seem thrilled. He told TMZ that he “is not looking forward” to the show’s debut. He could be concerned about being painted in an unflattering light. He could also be concerned that the project will create competition for his own project, an auto-biographical docu-series at Apple TV+ in April. He and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has also expressed reservations, will be part of a documentary for Hulu about those teams that the Lakers are behind.

HBO is pulling out all the stops to promote Winning Time. That included a private party and special screening in Cleveland that members of the team and NBA officials declined to attend. Rose contacted the Lakers for her article and received a response that read “We have no comment as we are not supporting nor involved with this project.”

Executive Producer Adam McKay hopes that some of those people will have their minds changed once they see the finished product.

“We’re coming at this with good intentions, but these guys don’t know that,” he told Rose. “They’re used to a certain degree of media that’s always going after them, and if I could talk to them, I’d say, ‘No, no, don’t worry, we’re going to paint the whole picture,’ but I get it, they don’t know me or [our showrunner] Max Borenstein, and it’s their right to really not like it.”

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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