Following the second season finale of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty on September 17, the show’s creator, Max Borenstein, confirmed the HBO sports drama has been cancelled.
“Not the ending that we had in mind. But nothing but gratitude and love,” Borenstein wrote on Twitter/X on Sunday night, seemingly confirming the premature end of the show.
Director Salli Richardson shared a similar message on her Instagram, writing, “When you give it everything you’ve got, you can have no regrets. I hope you enjoy the last episode of @winningtimehbo I am sure I will do many more hours of TV and hopefully many features in my future, but I can say that at this moment in time I am most proud of the work we did on this masterful show.”
Sunday’s finale had a shocking twist which makes it even more heartbreaking that the show won’t be coming back for Season 3.
It focused on the Lakers’ stunning loss to the Celtics during the 1984 NBA finals. Had the show returned for a third season, it was expected to highlight the Lakers’ comeback when they beat the Celtics the following year.
“In real life, the Lakers come back and beat the Celtics the next year. So that would absolutely be at the heart of any Season 3,” executive producer Kevin Messick told The Wrap before the cancelation was confirmed.
Messick added, “In terms of the longevity of the show, there’s a lot more Laker stories to tell, a lot more characters, larger than life, as big and bigger than Magic [Johnson] and Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] that have yet to enter onto the stage.”