Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

10 Best Episodes of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

A fast-break series chronicling the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties β€” a team that defined an era, both on and off the court.

Written by Sophie and last updated on feb 06, 2023.

PS: The following content contains spoilers!

PPS: I will admit that parts of this page was written with the help of AI - it makes my work so much easier to not start from a blank page!

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty - S1E3

#10 - The Good Life (Season 1 - Episode 3)

Leaving the Lakers to deal with the fallout of Coach West's shocking announcement, Buss travels to Las Vegas, and soon becomes entangled with a dangerous foe. Back in LA, Earvin finds himself alone in a new city, while former Laker Pat Riley seeks out a new place within the team.

The episode was rated 7.64 from 262 votes.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty - S1E2

#9 - Is That All There Is? (Season 1 - Episode 2)


After giving Coach West carte blanche with the Lakers roster, Buss attempts to charm fellow franchise owner of the Celtics, Red Auerbach. Meanwhile, Earvin's efforts to impress the women in his life fall flat, and Claire's mandate to get creative brings conflict with Buss' daughter, Jeanie.

The episode was rated 7.70 from 279 votes.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty - S1E6

#8 - Memento Mori (Season 1 - Episode 6)

Assistant coach Paul Westhead adds to the Lakers' growing list of problems when he finds himself dealing with a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. Increasingly courted by corporate sponsors, Earvin consults a newfound financial advisor.

The episode was rated 7.72 from 254 votes.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty - S1E1

#7 - The Swan (Season 1 - Episode 1)


1979. Businessman Jerry Buss stakes his fortune on the purchase of the NBA's lackluster Los Angeles Lakers. Meanwhile, the team's head coach, Jerry West, bristles at the prospect of drafting college phenom Earvin Johnson – who must decide if he's ready to live up to the mantle of his nickname: Magic.

The episode was rated 7.81 from 328 votes.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty - S1E8

#6 - California Dreaming (Season 1 - Episode 8)

As the Lakers continue their successful run, Paul and Pat are forced to reckon with the tenuous nature of their positions. Then, Earvin meets his childhood hero at the NBA All-Star game, where he receives some sage advice. Jessie convinces Jeanie to help shield her father from a devastating truth.

The episode was rated 7.99 from 232 votes.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty - S1E5

#5 - Pieces of a Man (Season 1 - Episode 5)


As the Lakers prepare for their season opener against the Clippers, an increasingly frustrated Kareem begins to doubt his place on the team – allowing Coach McKinney to stoke his growing rivalry with Earvin. Jeanie courts star talent for newly minted cheer squad, the Laker Girls, including a promising young dancer, Paula Abdul.

The episode was rated 8.00 from 262 votes.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty - S1E7

#4 - Invisible Man (Season 1 - Episode 7)

While Buss clashes with West over the coaching staff, Paul calls in a favor from Pat Riley. On the road for the first time, Earvin attempts to reconnect with loved ones in Lansing, before heading to Boston to square off against longtime rival Larry Bird.

The episode was rated 8.10 from 235 votes.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty - S1E9

#3 - Acceptable Loss (Season 1 - Episode 9)


As the Lakers prepare to enter the play-offs, Buss struggles with the team's tenuous coaching situation and his mother's failing health. Later, Haywood receives an ultimatum from Kareem.

The episode was rated 8.13 from 238 votes.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty - S1E4

#2 - Who the F**k Is Jack McKinney? (Season 1 - Episode 4)

As the Lakers head to Palm Springs for the start of training camp, Buss finds himself in over his head financially, and the team's new coaches struggle to prove their vision for a groundbreaking method of play. Meanwhile, Jeanie works to bring her father's flair to the Forum.

The episode was rated 8.14 from 260 votes.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty - S1E10

#1 - Promised Land (Season 1 - Episode 10)


Down two men and with the 1980 NBA Championship on the line, the outnumbered Lakers look to an unlikely source for inspiration. In Philly, Earvin faces off against his role-model-turned-rival Dr. J, while in LA, Haywood grapples with his own worst enemy: himself.

The episode was rated 8.40 from 228 votes.

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