Hulu has picked up a nine-episode docuseries about the Los Angeles Lakers from Lakers CEO and controlling owner Jeanie Buss and director Antoine Fuqua, the streamer announced Monday.
The project, which will feature interviews with dozens of current and former players and coaches, will detail the last four decades of the NBA franchise, beginning with Jerry Buss’ acquisition of the team in 1979. Per Hulu, the docuseries will “offer a fresh and revealing look inside the legendary ‘Showtime’ era that saw the team win five NBA titles and turned the Forum into Hollywood’s hottest ticket throughout the 1980s,” in addition to covering the “high-stakes drama off the court and incredible successes of the Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal-led championship teams, as well as the cultural impact of the Lakers franchise and rebirth of the team, culminating with the 2020 NBA championship led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.”
Interviews that will be featured on the series include members of the Buss family, coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, and NBA Hall of Famers O’Neal, Magic Johnson and former team captain Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, among numerous other current and former players.
Set to debut in 2022, the project will be executive produced by Buss and Fuqua, alongside Haven Entertainment’s Kevin Mann, Michael Mann and Brendan Bragg; Los Angeles Media Fund’s (LAMF) Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman and longtime Lakers senior executive Linda Rambis. Also attached to the project are executive producer and writer Steven Leckart and editor Jake Pushinsky.
“When Dr. Buss bought the Lakers in 1979, he sat alone at center court of the Forum and thought of all the possibilities. But even in his wildest dreams, my father could not have imagined what the next decades would bring for our organization, our league and our city of Los Angeles. I am thrilled that the true story of the Lakers will finally be shared with the world — and that we are in such capable hands with Hulu and Antoine, a director whose storytelling I’ve admired for years,” Buss said in a statement.
“We are proud to bring this docuseries to the world and shed light on the legendary history of the Lakers,” Fuqua said. “This expansive look into one of the greatest sports franchises of all time is a project we all feel deeply passionate about.”
“The Los Angeles Lakers are one of sports’ most illustrious franchises,” said Belisa Balaban, Hulu’s vice president of original documentaries. “Theirs is a history of epic highs and tragic lows, and generations of legendary players and teams who have made a profound impact, not just on the sports world, but on the culture. We are honored to join Jeanie, Antoine and the whole creative team to bring Hulu viewers the very real inside look at the remarkable story of the rise and fall, and rise again of the Lakers.”