How Jerry West vs. HBO became TV’s biggest feud in years
Not since “Feud” in 2017 — over which Olivia de Havilland attempted to bring FX Networks to the Supreme Court — has a pitched battle of such prominence come to TV. But as the battle that emerged this week between HBO and Lakers great Jerry West showed once again, no one outshines the Showtime Lakers easily.
Upset by his portrayal in the drama series “Winning Time” as a hothead with a dirty mouth, cloudy disposition and relentless drive to win, West, with support from a host of Lakers luminaries, has demanded a retraction from HBO and vowed to take his case to the highest court. The network says it stands behind the series, which has already been renewed for a second season. And TV viewers and Lakers fans appear to be split on whether Jason Clarke’s performance as West is accurate, mere exaggeration or, to quote West’s attorney, “character assassination for the sake of ratings.”
How did we get here? And where might the story go next? Here’s our complete guide to Jerry West’s feud with HBO over “Winning Time,” from the real-life history behind the character to where the fight currently stands.