The unexpected cancellation of the HBO show Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, has led Jeanie Buss to reminisce over the earlier events of her life involving Pat Riley. To those who do not know, Winning Time was incredibly hyped up upon its initial release. However, the show concluded after just two seasons citing lack of viewership and questionable portrayals of characters as reasons for its end.
To those who do not know, the show is based on the life of Jerry Buss and his attempts to become the majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. Since the Lakers were all the hype in the 1980s, it made sense to create this series since younger Lakers fans will not be able to recall the greatness their team displayed in the past.
Jeanie was recently interviewed after the cancellation of the show. Since she was one of the few people from those times who are still around today, Buss shared additional insight regarding the dynamics between her and Pat Riley. With that being said, let us take a closer look and find out what she had to say.
What was Jeanie Buss’ relationship with Pat Riley?
Although many modern-day NBA fans will know that Riley is the President of the Miami Heat, it might interest fans to hear that he was once an NBA coach and played a pivotal role in the success that the franchise saw back in the 1980s.
Pat Riley actually started his professional career as an NBA player and even played for the Los Angeles Lakers. He joined the team in 1977 as a broadcaster for the Lakers and was promoted to the position of assistant coach in 1979. Within a few years, he was given the position of head coach and turned the team into the Showtime Lakers and coached them to 5 NBA titles.
Riley’s role for the Lakers was highlighted in Winning Time. However, Jeanie Buss opined that there was a lot more that was left unsaid due to the abrupt ending.
It’s not enough. There’s more. There’s more stories to tell. And like the evolution of Pat Riley… It was very well written in terms of, you know, I had the experience — and it’s it’s reflected in the show — where one day I’m walking down the hallway at The Forum and I’m like ‘Hey, Riles.’ And he literally stops me and says ‘Jeanie, I’m Coach now, you have to call me Coach.’ And it was like, ‘okay, whatever.’ … He really was where he wanted to be. And he was going to stand his ground. And what a time and a place for a person to be where they were meant to be.”
There is no denying that the relationship between Jeanie Buss and Pat Riley changed dramatically over the years as he ascended to the position he is in today. Despite the fact that Winning Time was criticized for its lack of accuracy and poor depictions, Jeanie Buss felt that it was well written and covered the changing times quite well.