John C. Reilly to play Jerry Buss in HBO pilot about ‘Showtime Lakers’


If you want to relive the glory days of the Showtime Lakers, you will get some help at some point in the near future.

HBO has a pilot in the works on that team, and they just cast actor John C. Reilly in the role of team owner Jerry Buss.

Reilly replaces Michael Shannon, who was previously cast in the role but left the project due to creative differences, according to Deadline.


The pilot is based on Jeff Pearlman’s book about the Showtime Lakers, “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.” It is being produced by Adam McKay, who has worked with Reilly on several other projects, including “Talladega Nights,” “Step Brothers” and “Holmes & Watson.”

Reilly joins previously announced Jason Clarke, who portrays Jerry West. An air date for the pilot has not been announced.

There doesn’t appear to be much resemblance between Buss and Reilly, but Reilly is a good actor and could pull this off.

First-world problems

Sorry, high rollers, your rotors have been clipped.

The Oceanport, N.J., City Council rejected a proposal to allow more helicopter flights to access Monmouth Park, a racetrack that also has a sports betting operation.

The track’s ownership group said more helicopters could bring in high rollers, creating more revenue that would benefit Oceanport.

Ten flights a year are now allowed to a nearby helipad on state property. But Councilman Robert Proto says the park is on the “honor system.”


Residents say they’re concerned about noise, pollution and decreased property values.

Your favorite sports moment

What is your favorite L.A. sports moment? Email me at, and I might run it in a future Morning Briefing. And, yes, if your favorite moment is about the Angels or Ducks or a team just outside of L.A., I’ll count that too.

Today’s moment comes from Mike Valdez of Garden Grove:

I have been a Dodger fan since 1958. I have bled Dodger Blue since I was 10 years old. I am now 71.

On Sept. 18, 2006, my 38-year-old son Erik and I went to Dodger Stadium to see a game against the Padres. Brad Penny was our starting pitcher. In the bottom of the ninth and the Padres leading 9-5, Jeff Kent hit a home run to left-center making the score 9-6. J.D. Drew followed with a homer to right — score now 9-7! Then Padre manager Bruce Bochy brought in legendary closer Trevor Hoffman to face Russell Martin, who slammed a homer to left field, making the score 9-8! Marlon Anderson followed with a homer to right, tying the score! The game went to extra innings.

In the top of the 10th, the Padres scored a run. Score now 10-9 Padres. In the bottom of the 10th, Kenny Lofton walked and Nomar Garciaparra homered into the left field pavilion to win the game 11-10. The crowd broke into pandemonium. My heart beat so fast that I had to stop to catch my breath. The crowd was euphoric that night — my son and I right along with them.

Vin Scully ended the night by simply saying, “Oh, and by the way, the Dodgers are in first place!” I still have our ticket stubs.


Side note: My son, Erik, passed away in 2013, but I will forever hold in my heart this Dodger memory we shared on a warm September evening.