HBO’s Showtime Lakers Pilot Casts Its Magic Johnson & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

HBO’s pilot about the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers has found its Magic and Kareem. Newcomers Quincy Isaiah and Solomon Hughes have been cast as NBA legends Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, respectively.

Written by Max Borenstein (Godzilla), The Untitled Showtime Lakers Project is based on Jeff Pearlman’s nonfiction book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.

Executive producer Adam McKay is directing the pilot, which chronicles the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties — a team that defined its era, both on and off the court.

Isaiah’s Magic Johnson is as gifted in the game as he is magnetic in his life. His fast-paced, captivating style of play revolutionizes the sport of basketball even as his style of celebrity transforms the social fabric of the culture.

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Hughes’ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s intelligence, talent, and political activism have made him a living legend but his introverted nature leads him to be misunderstood by not only the public, but his own teammates. Deeply sensitive after a lifetime of betrayals, but the arrival of rookie Magic Johnson sparks his gradual journey to open up to those around him; a quest that re-inspires his love of the game.

They join previously announced cast members Jason Clarke, who plays Jerry West, and John C. Reilly who portrays Jerry Buss.

McKay is executive producing through his yet-to-be-named company he has launched after parting ways with longtime producing partner Will Ferrell and dissolving their Gary Sanchez Prods. Joining McKay at his new company is former Gary Sanchez Prods. executive Kevin Messick, who will executive produce Showtime alongside McKay, Borenstein and Jason Shuman. Jim Hecht co-wrote the story and executive produces.

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Isaiah is an actor from Muskegon, Michigan and a recent drama school graduate. He is repped by CAA, Impact Talent Group, and attorney Terrence Williams.

Hughes has been acting for friends and family from a very young age, he is just now making strides in his professional career. Solomon has served as the captain of the University of California Berkeley men’s basketball team, and during his junior season led the Pac-12 in field goal percentage. He played professionally in the USBL, the ABA and the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional Mexico, and was a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. He attended graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Georgia, where he earned a PhD in Higher Education. He is based in Sunnyvale, CA. Hughes is repped by The Van Johnson Company and Barnes, Morris, Klein & Yorn.

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