[Warning: This story contains spoilers for episode three, “The Best Is Yet to Come,” of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.]
Time of Victory: Rise of the Lakers co-creator Jim Hecht believes a lot of viewers took to Google at the end of the most recent episode to see if that wild event really happened.
It did. And Hecht is honest in admitting that he was also shocked to learn about it during the development of the HBO limited series.
Victor Weiss was brutally murdered in 1979 after meeting with Lakers owner Jerry Buss to close a deal to bring friend and client Jerry Tarkanian – men’s basketball coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – with him. Lakers. Authorities suspect the murder was carried out by a mob. Victory time implies the blow made to keep the Tarkanian at UNLV.
Beallich.Com catch up with Hecht before the premiere of Win’The third episode, “The Best Is Yet To Come” revisits some of the chapter’s key moments – directed by Damian Marcano and penned by Max Borenstein, Rodney Barnes and Hecht – including that brutal conclusion.
Why would you want to take a piece of volume three in terms of writing?
Pat Riley. That’s Pat Riley’s introduction [played by Adrien Brody], along with how the episode ended, those are two really crazy parts of our story. Everyone thought Pat Riley was the Lakers coach, but he began the decade wandering the beach, trying to figure out what he was going to do with his life.
Is there a particular moment in this episode that you love the most?
End, for sure. Also, when Riley is not allowed to join the Forum [during the head coach search], the security guard told him, “No ex-player.” That is a true story. He showed them his 1972 championship ring, and they said, “No ex-players.”
This episode gives you a deeper look at Jerry West (Jason Clarke) and his love-hate relationship with the game. Why is that important to understand?
I don’t even know if people know that Jerry West is the coach and he’s retired. The description we have of Jerry West is what you get when you treat depression and childhood trauma with basketball or any other external factor. It is always an inside job. So it’s him either trying to kick it or fix it.
Can you talk about the importance of that rope to your Magic being completely naive about what he is taking on himself, leading to him being the promiscuous one?
There are two great moments that were not included in the episode. We tried and tried, but they didn’t really fit. The first was when Magic came to LAX. Buss didn’t pick him up. He sent a Playboy Playmate as a limo driver. And the other time was when Magic was on his way to the apartment. He saw orange trees in the front yard. He made the driver pull over, get out and pick some fruit, like, “This is unbelievable.” Just the picture of him with the fruit and the trees and the playmate and the first time I got to LA, I thought it was really rich.
When they talk about an addiction that I’ve worked on a lot, been recovering from for over 20 years, they talk about it as fun, fun with problems, and then all problems. This is a child, 19 years old. He was watched by the world, with the pressure of carrying a team on the biggest stage in the world. And he doesn’t drink, and he’s not addicted to drugs. How do you express that stress? Then have all the access when he becomes a rock star.
The ending is shocking and really highlights how much bigger this story is than just basketball. Do you think it is safe to say that many people will go to Google that is correct?
This murder has never been solved by the police. I dunno, as a big Lakers fan, Jerry Tarkanian was hired! They made the contract. It’s a performance agreement. I don’t know what happened to Victor Weiss, when he was stuffed in the trunk of his car. All are absolutely correct.
The edited interview is long and clear.
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