‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty‘ is a sports drama series set in the 1980s about the Lakers’ ascension to the NBA’s apex.
Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht devised the series, which is based on Jeff Pearlman’s novel “Showtime.”
In the first episode of the show, viewers witness the drama that various La Lakers characters face as the team enters the 1980s.
We meet people like Jerry Buss, Magic Johnson, Norm Nixon, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who will lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a period of NBA dominance.
However, the Lakers must first overcome some formidable obstacles. Here’s everything that happened in HBO’s ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty’ episode 1 if you’re looking for a recap of the episode’s happenings!
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Winning Time Episode 1 ‘The Swan’ Recap
The Swan is the title of the series premiere of ‘Winning Time.’ It transports viewers to 1979, when businessman Jerry Buss chooses to enter the sports team owning business by purchasing the Los Angeles Lakers, a massively popular basketball club.
Despite its popularity, the squad has not enjoyed the same level of success as in earlier decades. The franchise’s current owner, Jack Kent Cooke, is, however, compelled to sell the team in order to pay for his divorce settlement.
Buss decides to purchase the squad, but must pay a portion of the purchase price in cash. Buss, on the other hand, lacks the necessary funds and must reorganise his holdings to make up the difference. Despite this, Buss signs the contract.
Jeanie, Buss’ daughter, asks if she can help him run the squad, and he reluctantly agrees. Buss must work with the team’s shot-tempered but successful coach, Jerry West, to finalise the decision as the NBA Draft approaches.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr, a rookie who recently won the State Championship, has Buss’ attention. West, on the other hand, is sceptical, claiming that the team already has one of the best point guards in the league in Norm Nixon.
Despite this, Buss brings Johnson and his father to Los Angeles to talk about a possible deal. The arrangement falls through, though, when Johnson demands an absurdly high fee for signing with the Lakers.
Buss secures the funds for the transaction by borrowing money from his ex-wife, but Cooke has second thoughts about selling the club. As a result, he intends to demand the entire payment in cash, forcing Buss to back out of the arrangement.
Claire Rothman, Cooke’s accountant, informs Buss of Cooke’s ambitions. Buss navigates the problem by taking advantage of Cooke’s divorce and seals the sale. Johnson, on the other hand, goes a party where he meets Norm Nixon.
Nixon humiliates Johnson over a casual game of basketball. Johnson loses faith in his ability and considers delaying his professional debut.
Winning Time Episode 1 Ending Explained
Johnson’s spirits plummet after a humiliating defeat at the party to Nixon. Johnson is full of optimism when he first lands in Los Angeles. His personality straddles the line between arrogance and self-assurance.
As a result, Nixon’s basketball game serves as a wake-up call for the young rookie baller. Johnson decides to take a break before turning pro after speaking with his father. He goes to the Lakers’ stadium to tell Buss about his choice not to enter the draught.
Buss acknowledges Johnson’s choice but makes one further effort to persuade him. He walks Johnson to the Lakers’ locker room and court in a relaxed manner.
Johnson continues to develop confidence as he performs his manoeuvres in the stadium. He recognises the enormous possibility that lies ahead of him and falls in love with the Lakers’ culture.
As a result, Johnson reconsiders his decision to take a sabbatical and declares for the draught. He gets selected first overall by the Lakers and signed to a deal of $500,000.
Johnson is introduced to the media as a Lakers player and given the number 32 jersey, which will become synonymous with his name in the coming years. However, not everyone is pleased with the Lakers’ recent acquisition, and West can be seen venting his displeasure in his office.
As a result, the episode finishes by foreshadowing the tough obstacles that Johnson will face during his early days as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.