The season 2 finale of Winning Time is all about the big show. The 1984 NBA Finals went 7 games.
HBO laid out what happened between the Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers in a set of phases. We got to see just how far Larry Bird would go to be Magic Johnson and the fall of the winning mentality of the Lakers.
Anybody who knows sports history knows what a dynasty the Lakers became, but we are seeing them at the start of that era. Meanwhile, you have Boston who is the big green machine and Red Auerbach never lets Jerry Buss forget it.
The greatest rivalry in sports did not disappoint in the battle of Magic and Bird. It really makes you see why sports psychologists are such a needed thing in all aspects of professional sports today.
After winning Game 1 in Boston, the Celtics fans barely let the team leave the Garden in one piece. Magic was at an all-time high in confidence.
They thought they had Boston in the palm of their hands and Johnson was convinced they were going to sweep the Celtics at this rate. Head coach Pat Riley tells Magic to calm down because it’s just one game and that Magic has got to stop focusing on his rivalry with Larry Bird.
The finals are more than the vendetta those two have with each other. Riley gives him a warning that if he focuses on their history, the next Boston riot will be for their parade.
This is a bit of a nod to the future.
Winning Time season 2, episode 7 recap: Riley wasn’t wrong
Pat Riley wasn’t wrong because in Game 2 of the Finals, Magic Johnson froze and forced the game into overtime. The Lakers ultimately lost by 3 and dropped the second game of the series.
From that moment on Magic Johnson became rattled, which played right into Larry’s hand. Jerry West knows Magic has too much of Larry Bird on his mind and it’s messing with his focus.
And if anyone can understand, it’s Jerry West, who is known for his big rivalry with Bill Russell. West always had a problem involving no-names in the games, something Bill Russell was good at.
He reassures Magic that he’s far from a selfish player. But he’s got to get out of his head and realize this game is bigger than his need to beat Larry Bird.
He allows everyone around him to have a deeper love for basketball. With that, it was enough to take Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
The inspiration he got from Jerry West led him to a record-breaking 21 assists to put the Lakers up 2-1. Jerry Buss has a meeting with Honey and her team of lawyers.
She does not have a compassionate bone in her body for Buss and asks for 100 million dollars that Jerry doesn’t have. Because she was never his wife it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Any good lawyer would be able to find the loophole there. Claire has had enough of Jerry.
Everyone warned him not to jump in so fast with Honey, now not only is her job in jeopardy over this frivolous lawsuit, but the entire team, along with everyone in the office, could be in jeopardy too. And all for his obsession over one woman.
In Game 4, the Lakers look to go up another game, but Kevin McHale’s anger puts a stop to that after decking Rambis. To this day it is known as the Kurt Rambis Closeline and Laker fans still hate McHale for it.
McHale does feel some guilt for it initially, but Magic tells him to apologize to Rambis or he will break his neck. By the third period, the Celtics got into their heads forcing them to drop Game 4.
Pat Riley never hid his frustration and destroyed his office as the team listened. Boston may have gotten the upper hand in this one, but it was due to the dirty play that shook the Lakers up.
This sent both teams going back to Boston tied 2-2.
Winning Time season 2, episode 7 recap: Hell is in Boston
In Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Red Auerbach and company tried to steam the Lakers out. Now it’s just a rumor but on the Boston side, they had plenty of water and ice-cold towels, while the only type of water the Lakers had in the locker room was hot.
There was no AC in the Boston Gardens, so they ended up using the heat as a sixth man. It got so bad that Kareem needed oxygen on the sidelines and one of the refs passed out from the heat.
Shady methods to win but Boston does take Game 5 regardless. Jeanie Buss had distanced herself from her dad and his drama.
She used to attend Lakers games all the time but since her dad stopped noticing, she aborted that. She still comes off as immature in regard to her dad, but she has grown in the way she does stand up to him.
I think Magic Johnson had a lot to do with that. She makes her own choices now, but she still has a big heart for her old man.
When Jeanie finds out about the lawsuit, she still rushes over to her dad’s aid. Ultimately, Jeanie doesn’t disagree with Honey for wanting to get back at Buss for all his broken promises.
I think Jerry’s heart is always in the right place, but he is not good at going through with action. In the end, they are all each other has and they go to Game 6 together.
The Lakers take Game 6 of the series and head to Boston for a final Game 7. Sadly for the Lakers, they fall just short of another championship and the Celtic’s reign of terror will continue for years to come.
Before heading off to Boston, Jeanie sits in her dad’s chair. Claire even tells her, “You look good in that chair.”
Could you imagine? A female owner.
Jeanie asked Claire if she thought the league would ever allow that. She thinks she could do it and Claire doesn’t disagree.
Jeanie could also separate her personal life from the business, which is something her father has a hard time doing. As we all know, Jeanie goes on to do just that in the future.
Any sports fan knows that the Lakers do go on to take back their pride against the Celtics. But when and how will we see this play out?
HBO has pulled the plug on season three of Winning Time. It came as a surprise to everybody when the news broke on last night.
This show is one of the best on television at the moment. There are too many more exciting events in the Lakers history to end it all this way.
Now everybody is side-eyeing HBO for this bad decision. Despite if it gets picked up for another act, it’s been a joy to watch the history of the Lakers unfold.
What did you think of the Winning Time season 2 finale? Watch Winning Time seasons 1 and 2 on HBO.