‘Booksmart’ Star Molly Gordon, Rob Morgan Among Five Added to HBO’s 1980s Lakers Pilot

Molly Gordon, Rob Morgan Among Five
Courtesy of HBO

HBO’s pilot based on the 1980s Showtime Lakers is rounding out its main cast.

Molly Gordon, Rob Morgan, Spencer Garrett, Kirk Bovill, and Delante Desouza have all been cast in the one-hour drama pilot. They join previously announced cast members Jason Clarke (Jerry West), John C. Reilly (Jerry Buss), Quincy Isaiah (Earvin “Magic” Johnson), Solomon Hughes (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), DeVaughn Nixon (Norm Nixon), and Joey Brooks (Lon Rosen).

Gordon will play Linda Zafrani. Zafrani’s intelligence and savvy have earned her a position in the Forum Office, but the arrival of new ownership — Jerry Buss and his ambitious daughter Jeanie –requires her to navigate a complicated web of personal and professional relationships.

Gordon previously appeared in the critically-acclaimed film “Booksmart” as well as the hit R-rated comedy “Good Boys.” Her past TV credits include “Animal Kingdom,” “Ramy,” “Orange Is the New Black,” and “Our Cartoon President.”

She is repped by UTA and Burstein Company.

Morgan will play Earvin Johnson Sr. For decades, he worked as both a garbage man and on an automobile assembly line to provide a better life for his children. When his son is presented with an expensive NBA contract, the differences in how Earvin Sr. and his namesake handle privilege, opportunity, and attention are made obvious.

Morgan has appeared in more Netflix series than perhaps any other actor, most notably as Turk Barrett in all of the Marvel-Netflix shows and Officer Powell in “Stranger Things.” He also appeared in the Oscar-nominated film “Mudbound.” He also recently appeared on the NBC drama “This Is Us” and in the critically-acclaimed film “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.” He was named one of Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch in 2019.

He is repped by Authentic Talent & Literary Management.

Garrett will star as Chick Hearn, the legendary Lakers announcer. Hearn coined terms essential to basketball’s lexicon—including slam dunk, airball, and no-look pass. His colorful language and “world’s eye view” were so essential to fans that he became one of the few personalities to lead simultaneous radio and TV broadcasts.

Garrett recently appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” and will also appear in the upcoming Apple drama series “For All Mankind.” His other recent TV credits include “The Good Doctor,” “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.,” and “Survivor’s Remorse.”

He is repped by Abrams Artist Agency and Luber Roklin Entertainment.

Bovill will appear as Donald Sterling. Sterling was already notorious for his questionable hairstyle and stingy management of the Clippers—before the infamous tape of a sexist, racist rant went public. Reminiscent of another famous 80’s Donald, Sterling pursues the trappings of fame but lacks tact, empathy, and grace.

Bovill recently played Henry Kissinger in the Oscar-nominated film “Vice.” His recent TV credits include “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” “Young Sheldon,” “I’m Dying Up Here,” “Training Day,” “American Crime,” “Chance,” “The Mick,” and “Hawaii 5-O.”

He is repped by DPN Talent and Bullett Management.

Desouza will play Michael Cooper. Despite having been drafted the season before, a devastating knee injury rendered Cooper a “rookie” alongside Magic Johnson. Anxious and unsure of himself, Cooper is nonetheless determined to prove his worth to the team.

This will mark Desouza’s onscreen acting debut. He is repped by Avanti Talent Management LLC and Take 3 Talent Inc.

Max Borenstein is writing and executive producing the pilot. Adam McKay will direct the pilot and executive produce through his yet to be named new production company. Kevin Messick of McKay’s company will also executive produce along with Jason Shuman. Jim Hecht co-wrote the story and will also executive produce. Scott Stephens will also executive produce with Rodney Barnes co-executive producing. The pilot is based on Jeff Pearlman’s non-fiction book “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.”
(Pictured: Molly Gordon, left; Rob Morgan, right)