It was reported in March that Burnham had been cast in the role of Celtics legend Larry Bird. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, Burnham is no longer involved with the project due to scheduling conflicts.
Sean Patrick Small will instead play Bird. Bird is described as a basketball star who hates the spotlight; preferring instead: Budweiser, ratty jeans, and brutally, ruthlessly destroying his opponents on the court. He and Magic Johnson, who have been pitted against one another since their legendary NCAA championship duel, continue their rivalry for the next decade.
Additional castings include: Olli Haaskivi as Phil Knight, the founder of Nike; Rachel Hilson as Cindy Day, the girlfriend of Magic Johnson; Newton Mayenge as Jim Chones, a veteran NBA forward; and Jon Young as Brad Holland, the only Laker wholesome enough to be nicknamed “Potsie.”
Haaskivi is repped by Lasher Group. Hilson is repped by CAA, Neon Kite, and Goodman Genow. Mayenge is repped by Eris Talent Agency and Eleven 7 Artist Management. Small is repped by Schiowitz Artists Management Inc. and Arc Collective. Young is repped by Making Stars Talent Agency.
These five represent the latest additions to a sprawling cast with several A-listers attached in key roles. The series also stars: John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gaby Hoffmann as Claire Rothman, Hadley Robinson as Jeanie Buss, DeVaughn Nixon as Norm Nixon, Molly Gordon as Linda Zafrani, Rob Morgan as Earvin Johnson Sr., Jason Segel as Paul Westhead, Michael Chiklis as Red Auerbach, Sally Field as Jessie Buss, Adrien Brody as Pat Riley, Spencer Garrett as Chick Hearn, Kirk Bovill as Donald Sterling, Delante Desouza as Michael Cooper, Stephen Adly Guirgis as Frank Mariani, Tamera Tomakili as Earletha “Cookie” Kelly, Joey Brooks as Lon Rosen, Gillian Jacobs as Chris Riley, Wood Harris as Spencer Haywood, Jimel Atkins as Jamaal Wilkes, Brett Cullen as Bill Sharman; LisaGay Hamilton as Christine Johnson, Andy Hirsch as David Stern, Lola Kirke as Karen West, Tracy Letts as Jack McKinney, and Sarah Ramos as Cheryl Pistono.
The show is based on Jeff Pearlman’s non-fiction book “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.” Max Borenstein serves as writer, executive producer, and showrunner. Adam McKay directed the pilot and executive produces through Hyperobject Industries. Kevin Messick of Hyperobject 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 along with Rodney Barnes.