Winning Time season 2 episode 1 recap: One Ring Don’t Make a Dynasty

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty season 2 on HBO and Max
Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty season 2 on HBO and Max /

It’s all about fatherhood in the season two premiere of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. Or should we say lack thereof?

In “One Ring Don’t Make a Dynasty,” we see the softer softness of Jerry Buss and how he truly feels about his children, as well as the lengths he is willing to go to repeat another NBA championship. Jack is gone and Paul Westhead is manning the ship now with Pat Riley just behind as assistant coach.

The dirty side of the sports business is very much at play. Creating a sports dynasty isn’t easy. It comes with sacrifice and tough moves. Getting there isn’t always the hardest part, it’s staying on top that is the real struggle. Winning Time is a must-watch series on Sunday night highlighting Showtime on HBO.

How has Magic Johnson handled the success of becoming a world champion?

Just about as you’d expect. Magic doesn’t seem to be changing his wild ways anytime soon. He still thrives off chasing tail and believes he is the king of the Lakers now. But, just as he’s on top of the world his own comes crashing down with the news of another child of his on the way.

His legal team wants him to sign a financial settlement and pay the woman off with Laker’s money. Magic knows how bad it would be financially and personally for the news to get out. But he’s not comfortable with turning his back on his flesh and blood. And when Cookie finds out his uphill battle to get her back is going to be even higher.

On the other side of the court, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is expecting his child with his wife. Unlike Magic, he is very excited to welcome their new blessing into this world. He’s way more mature than Magic, but who isn’t? Kareem carries his burdens about fatherhood, admitting to Magic that his other children only know him as No. 33. He wants to be the father he never was before and do right by his family this time around. With age does come experience and wisdom. Kareem’s own mistakes may turn off a light bulb in Magic’s head and stop him from making those same ones.

Winning Time recap: It’s a family affair

It’s all about the big moves in season two’s debut. Buss wants to create loyalty between him and their players by giving them contract extensions now. Free agency is coming in a year and they need to be one step ahead of the game. The days of being cheap with players are over in L.A. Buss wants these players to bleed for him and you do that with money. In return, it will strengthen an already powerful team and secure their future success.

Jerry West is livid about the plan. He doesn’t see the triumph in throwing money they don’t have at players. West is not a fan of chaos and thinks Buss is out of his mind. The problem with Buss’ plan is that even in this day and age you can’t have loyalty in business. Because it’s not personal, it’s business. Even for franchise players, it’s hard to keep them in the same city forever. West thinks it’s a fine idea for players like Magic and Kareem but the rest are dime a dozen. They can find more like them without the price tag.

"“The future of sports is not an athletic contest. It’s a business one.” – Jerry Buss"

Jerry Buss is not satisfied with being a successful solo act. He does have Jeanie by his side but he wants his sons to be a part of what he is creating. They may not be as business savvy as Jeanie but all that can be learned. Buss pretty much knows his son are duds but he tells Jeanie they can’t give up on family. Jerry does something unexpected and tells his daughter how proud he is of her. You get the feeling that Jeanie does not like sharing the spotlight with her brothers.

As a father, he admits he made mistakes and wants them to be a better family. His father disappeared out of his life and, god love his mother she never made home a home and strangely showed love. He can’t make up for the past but he can give them a future and make life easier on them. He wants his sons to live with him along with Jeanie. They are building an empire and it’s not going to mean as much if they don’t have each other.

Unfortunately for Buss, he’s got one problem standing in his way JoAnn. She refuses to sign off on any investors and doesn’t want her children being sucked into his world. You get the vibe he really loves his kids and tries to do right by them but he also is a product of his environment.

In true Jerry Buss fashion, he buys his children’s love. To him, he sees it as a way to become successful as a family unit. He buys Jeanie a franchise and gets in the horse business for Jim since he has aspirations to be a jockey. For John, he buys an indoor soccer team where his country band can play at halftime. Buss tries to tie in business for the Lakers and their dreams together. His heart is in the right place but I can only see Jeanie successful in this endeavor. By buying these teams it will give a line of credit big enough to pay off contract extensions to the players. It’s a win-win for everybody.

Winning Time recap: Two fathers, different worlds

Kareem welcomes his new beautiful baby boy Amir into the world. It starts to rattle Magic who isn’t far away from doing the same. Magic goes down with a knee injury and is going to need surgery to clean out some cartilage and scarring. He has all the time in the world to think about his future and his legal situation with his child. You’d think it would slow him down from his sexual escapades, but no not Magic. He’s a multitasker. He does begin to realize that without fame he wouldn’t have this life. What he should be most worried about is getting back to his old self on the court.

Now that Magic is out for a while and Kareem is still on the mend there isn’t one man they can fully rely on. Paul Westhead comes up with a new game plan. Shoot the ball repeatedly before defenses can get set. Shooting faster will destroy stat lines with more misses but Westhead is convinced this is how they win for now. Kareem is not on board at all, he finds it offensive they are doing this because he can’t carry the load.

The good thing for Magic is he does have a good support system even with all his mistakes. His parents are mortified at his actions as a Christian family but they still have to stand by their son and hope he learns from this. His parents want him to take responsibility and refuse to turn their back on their own grandchild. If it hadn’t been for Kareem’s words to Magic I don’t think he would have showed up for his child’s birth.

"“You ever see a child come into the world? None of the things I’ve mastered in my life could help in any way. All of it was worthless in that moment. Because that moment didn’t require a great man to step in. It required me to be a partner.”"

Those are words Magic could live by on and off the court. The thing I love about Kareem the most is his wisdom and his impatience for nonsense. It may not always seem like Magic is listening or cares but he takes things to heart in a silent way. Especially by showing up to his first child’s birth(Andre) with his parents.

Under the new system, the Lakers go on a hot streak and win 7 games straight. Can the magic continue when Magic returns? Winning Time airs Sunday nights at 9 PM ET on HBO.

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