Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Says That Legacy: The True Story of The

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The deep fascination with the Los Angeles Lakers has inspired no shortage of podcasts, video games, television shows, and books. But now, surviving teammates and family members will reflect on what it was like to be a part of the legendary franchise. Following HBO’s controversial series Winning Time comes the Hulu docuseries Legacy: The True Story of The LA Lakers, an expansive look into the team’s origins. According to basketball giant Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “Everyone will watch [Legacy] and understand it’s the real deal.”

Legacy brings together current Lakers owner Jeanie Buss (and daughter of Dr. Jerry Buss) and Emmy Award-winning director Antoine Fuqua to dissect the rich history of the Lakers industry. From Dr. Buss’ humble beginnings to the unstoppable empire known today as Lakers Nation, Legacy offers an exclusive perspective into its history told directly from the people who lived through it.

The 10-part series is more than a research report; the heart of the story lies in unseen footage and interviews with the Buss family and former team members to fully convey what it was like building the franchise.

As Jeanie Buss explained, during a recent press conference, Legacy is different from other media about the Lakers because “The team has been covered for so long, but behind the scenes, there was so much else that went on. To hear the story from the people in the locker room when things happened — it’s a deeper dive into the story arc that we know took place. But there’s always more to the story.”

In April 2022, Abdul-Jabbar slammed the John C. Reilly-starring docu-drama in his newsletter: “The issue with Winning Time isn’t so much that the filmmakers deliberately avoided facts as if they were an STD, but that they replaced solid facts with flimsy cardboard fictions that don’t go deeper and offer no revealing insights,” he wrote then.

In contrast, during the press conference, Abdul-Jabbar described the opportunity that Legacy has given him to reflect on his time in the industry. “I think that at this time, I have a much better perspective on what my life is about. I can speak to it with some confidence and accuracy, so I’m glad I’ve had the chance to interact with the people making the film and Lakers Nation. There is always some stuff out there that’s not accurate or way off course, and this allows me to have my say.”

In the process of creating the series, it quickly became clear that the Lakers are more than just a basketball team; the squad is a piece of LA culture and a landmark of the league’s history. Producer Kevin Mann described the intentionality behind the project: “We started this many years ago. This wasn’t something that was done quickly or in response to anything else,” he said. “Going back seven years to when I first met Jeanie to talk about a documentary, we took our time, did it right, and didn’t rush it. We wanted to get this out when it was ready to be told.”

Legacy doesn’t shy away from the team’s painful and heartbreaking moments, including the retirement of Magic Johnson’s jersey following his HIV virus diagnosis and the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant. But the series embraces the team’s losses and celebrates its wins with equal vigor. “We don’t hold back. This is our story, these are the things that happen, these are the human beings involved,” shared Buss.

Legacy: The True Story of The LA Lakers debuts Monday, August 15th on Hulu. New episodes debut weekly.

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