Kareem Abdul-Jabbar didn’t hold back as he revealed his thoughts on the HBO series “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty”.

The former professional basketball player, who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, explained how he eventually caved and watched it, but wasn’t a fan.

A synopsis for the series reads: “The Los Angeles Lakers, an American professional basketball team, became one of the most successful and revered in the 1980s.”

Abdul-Jabbar insisted in a lengthy review posted on his Substack: “Actually, I had no real interest in watching the show, not because of any negative feelings about being exploited, but because I’d already lived through it. I know exactly what happened. To watch 10 hours of someone else’s interpretation seemed like a waste of my time.

“However, after hearing some angry grumblings in the pop culture ether about misrepresentation and outright lies, my journalistic curiosity took over and I sat down to watch.”

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He then told fans, “First, my response to the show has nothing to do with how I’m portrayed,” before later adding: “Second, I’m not a stickler for everything being factual when doing a fictionalized account of historical events.”

Abdul-Jabbar went on, “The characters are crude stick-figure representations that resemble real people the way Lego Hans Solo resembles Harrison Ford.

“Each character is reduced to a single bold trait as if the writers were afraid anything more complex would tax the viewers’ comprehension.”

Abdul-Jabbar then said of the plot, “If you gathered the biggest gossip-mongers from the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise and they collected all the rumours they heard about each other from Twitter and then played Telephone with each other you’d have the stitched together Frankenstein’s monster that is this show.

“I was shocked that for all the talent and budget, the result was so lacking in substance and humour.”

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Despite saying he was usually a fan of director Adam McKay’s work, he added, “Humour is one of Adam McKay’s specialties, but he can’t seem to find any in this show. There are attempts, but they often fall flat because they are so obvious and predictable. Those bro-dude attempts are as cringy as a bad ‘SNL’ skit.”

He later said, “I’ve battled leukemia, heart surgery, cancer, fire, and racism—a negative portrayal of me on a TV show has no effect on me personally. But it does affect others.”

Read Abdul-Jabbar’s full review here.

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