It’s Showtime: Adam McKay Casts Jason Clarke as Lakers Legend Jerry West

Articles, Pop CultureBrandon MarcusComment

Hot on the heels of appearing alongside zombie animals in Pet Sematary, Jason Clarke is now taking on another creature that has a history of rising from the dead: The Los Angeles Lakers.

Director Adam McKay has cast Clarke as NBA legend Jerry West for his HBO hour-long pilot, Showtime. The pilot (and, hopefully, series) will be about the Lakers during the early 80s, when they dominated the court and introduced the world to Magic Johnson. It was a formidable time for the team and the sport as a whole and a lot of that was due to West, the former player who became General Manager for the team in 1982. West’s time with the team has cemented him as a Lakers hero. West is also known as The Logo because his silhouette is used in the famous NBA logo. A true icon!

This show sounds like a dream come true to me. I’m a massive Lakers fan (and apologize for NOTHING!!!!) and I’m also a fan of McKay, Clarke and HBO hour-long dramas. The world of professional sports really lends itself to this sort of format too. There is so much drama and character at the center of sports, especially at the center of the Lakers in the 1980s. Showtime could literally run for years and never run out of story to tell. The Showtime era was THAT impressive.

You have to admit that a young Jerry West did look like Jason Clarke.

You have to admit that a young Jerry West did look like Jason Clarke.

You have to wonder who McKay will cast as Magic, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and others. His association with an HBO show will bring in a lot of talent but it’s going to be hard to cast guys who look like these literal giants. Maybe he can cast the actual athletes and use the de-aging technology that Scorsese is employing for The Irishman. We know that Kareem can act! Magic Johnson? Eh, not so much.

I’m really hopeful that the Showtime pilot is excellent and we get many seasons of it. I can see it now: the series finale could revolve around the Lakers landing young, fresh-faced NBA rookie Kobe Bryant as the dynasty continues.