Entertainment'Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers' review: Hulu's 10-part docuseries...

‘Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers’ review: Hulu’s 10-part docuseries plays too much like a licensed product

Not solely does Lakers CEO Jeanie Buss function an govt producer of “Legacy,” however all the youngsters of late proprietor Jerry Buss sit for interviews, together with an intensive roster of the crew’s former gamers, coaches and high-profile opponents.
Even so, director Antoine Fuqua (whose documentary credit embrace the sports-related “What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali”) has tipped the scales too closely towards Jerry Buss and his dedication to show the NBA’s showiest franchise right into a household enterprise. The result’s a collection peppered with highlights however that performs like an excessive amount of of a licensed product, encumbered with Buss household reminiscing.

In some respects, the entire train comes throughout as an prolonged response to “Profitable Time,” in search of to reclaim the crew’s narrative after that present’s exaggerated portrait of key Lakers gamers and personnel, which too typically bordered on parody.

Jerry West, for instance, who publicly criticized the HBO show, will get to calmly and brazenly talk about how demanding he was as a coach, saying of the gamers, “I felt sorry for them having to play for me,” whereas others rejoice his good eye for figuring out expertise in his govt capability.
Fuqua additionally contextualizes “Legacy” within the broader sociological context of Los Angeles, a metropolis of various communities pulled collectively by its collective love of the Lakers and Dodgers — not less than, when the groups are successful. From that perspective, the collection has deal in widespread with final 12 months’s ESPN documentary “Once Upon a Time in Queens,” dedicated to the Mets and their relationship with New York.
Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson in 'Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers.'

Nonetheless, a manufacturing already enamored with personalities at occasions races via the precise basketball, to the purpose the place if you happen to blink twice throughout the portion dedicated to the ’80s groups, you would possibly miss one other championship.

What’s left, then, are the bits and items: How Buss turned the Discussion board, the place the Lakers performed, into the most popular evening spot in a city of stars; the Lakers Women and different improvements that fellow house owners rushed to repeat, akin to Buss jacking up the worth of flooring seats from $10.50 to $65; and Magic Johnson’s unprecedented 25-year contract, prompting teammate Jamaal Wilkes and the remainder of the squad to ask of Johnson’s shut ties to the proprietor, “Is he one among us, or one among them?”

“Legacy” shoots a a lot increased share when the topic turns to basketball, with Julius Erving, a.ok.a. Dr. J, praising Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as “the best of all time,” and Celtics star Larry Chook expressing an identical sense of awe, saying he had hoped his brother noticed him standing on the court docket close to the Lakers massive man.

Six of the ten episodes have been made obtainable, sufficient to get via the Lakers’ down years after Abdul-Jabbar retired and Johnson’s HIV prognosis, and into the signing of Shaquille O’Neal and drafting of teenage sensation Kobe Bryant, triggering a title-winning resurgence.

Even then, there’s as a lot curiosity, seemingly, in coach Phil Jackson’s private relationship with Jeanie Buss. Nor may the filmmakers resist including the compulsory Hollywood pizzazz to the proceedings, with superstar Lakers followers Rob Lowe, Flea and Snoop Dogg among the many voices receiving ample display time.

For the Lakers trustworthy, or frankly anybody within the NBA’s surge from the Magic-Bird matchups via immediately, there’s nonetheless lots to love right here. However “Legacy” finally proves too dedicated to the Buss household’s portion of this sprawling story.

In that sense, the query Wilkes posed relating to Johnson echoes in a barely completely different means for viewers — specifically, is that this being made for us, or is it being made for them?

“Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers” premieres Aug. 15 on Hulu.

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