Just as the Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s Showtime era were a star-studded bunch, more akin to celebrities than just championship NBA players, Adam McKay’s HBO series on the team is full of A-list actors. The latest to join the cast are Jason Segel, who is tall enough to play Paul Westhead, and Bo Burnham as the legendary Larry Bird. Looks like we’ll be seeing some Magic vs. Bird recreations in the show.
In his first year as head coach, Westhead helped lead the 1980 Los Angeles Lakers and a rookie Magic Johnson to the NBA Championship. Larry Bird is…well, he’s Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics sharpshooter who led the team to multiple titles and had an epic rivalry with Johnson.
Just check out the ensemble Segel and Burnham are joining. Adrien Brody is Pat Riley, Sally Field as Jessie Buss, and Michael Chiklis as Red Auerbach, John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gaby Hoffmann as Claire Rothman, Hadley Robinson as Jeanie Buss, DeVaughn Nixon as Norm Nixon, Molly Gordon as Linda Zafrani, Rob Morgan as Earvin Johnson Sr., Spencer Garrett as Chick Hearn, Kirk Bovill as Donald Sterling, Delante Desouza as Michael Cooper, Stephen Adly Guirgis as Frank Mariani, Tamera Tomakili as Earletha ‘Cookie’ Kelly, and Joey Brooks as Lon Rosen.
Segel is coming off a really amazing, and criminally underseen, performance in Our Friend. Burnham played a key role in Oscar contender Promising Young Woman.
No word on a release date, but we know McKay has already shot the pilot episode. Considering the muscle HBO is putting behind this one, expect it to get a prime slot and be pushed to the moon. [Variety]