‘Winning Time’ is a sports drama series created by Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht. It is based on Jeff Pearlman’s novel ‘Showtime’ and tells the story of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team as they rise to the pinnacle of the sport during the 80s. It showcases how businessman Jerry Buss takes over the team and, with help from figures such as Claire Rothman, Jerry West, Magic Johnson, and several others, transforms the Lakers into a dominant force within the NBA. If you enjoyed watching the series and are looking for more sports-themed shows that will provide you with entertainment and inspiration, we’ve got you covered! Here’s our list of some of the best shows like ‘Winning TIme.’ You can watch most of these shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu!
7. All American (2018-)
Created by April Blair, ‘All American‘ is a sports drama based on the life of NFL player Spencer Paysinger. It follows Spencer (Daniel Ezra), a talented high school football prodigy from a rough South Los Angeles neighborhood who strives to achieve his dream of becoming a professional football player. Like ‘Winning TIme,’ the teen drama also mixes fiction with reality. Moreover, Magic Johnson from ‘Winning Time’ and ‘Spencer from ‘All American’ might play different sports but are both thrusts into a glittering new world and must adapt to it or risk losing their dreams.
6. Ballers (2015-2019)
‘Ballers‘ is a comedy-drama series created by Stephen Levinson. It stars Dwayne Johnson as Spencer Strasmore, a retired NFL player who becomes a financial manager. It details the hardships of Strasmore as he tries to adjust to his new career. Like ‘Winning Time,’ the series also deals with the lesser-known business aspects of sports, albeit instead of the NBA focusing on the NFL. Plus, the series offers some powerful performances from Johson and John David Washington (‘Tenet’) that will leave viewers hooked to the screens.
5. One Tree Hill (2003-2012)
‘One Tree Hill‘ is a teen drama series that revolves around the lives of teenagers from Tree Hill, a fictional town in North Carolina. Created by Mark Schwahn, it primarily focuses on half-brothers Nathan and Lucas, who enjoy playing basketball and ignite a fierce rivalry after joining the Tree Hill Ravens. If you enjoy the basketball-themed narrative of ‘Winning Time’ but prefer slightly more melodramatic shows with a keen focus on interpersonal relationships between characters, ‘One Tree Hill’ will appeal to you.
4. Big Shot (2021-)
Created by David E. Kelley, Dean Lorey, and Brad Garrett, ‘Big Shot‘ is a sports drama series about renowned basketball coach Marvyn Korn (John Stamos) and his quest for redemption. After being fired from his job for temperamental issues, Korn finds himself coaching the Westbrook School for Girls in San Diego. The series is a classic basketball-themed underdog story akin to ‘Winning Time,’ with an added feel-good element. Viewers who prefer family-friendly content will certainly enjoy ‘Big Shot.’
3. Survivor’s Remorse (2014-2017)
Mike O’Malley’s ‘Survivor’s Remorse’ follows Cam Calloway, an African-American professional basketball player who moves to Atlanta with his family after signing for a new team. The series features completing family drama as Cam tries to find his feet in new surroundings, much like Magic Johnson in ‘Winning Time.’ Furthermore, both shows deal with complex themes such as race, class, and sexuality.
2. Friday Night Lights (2006-2011)
‘Friday Night Lights’ is about the spirit, passion, and hard work of a high school football team in the fictional town of Dillon. The series is inspired by H. G. Bissinger’s non-fiction novel of the same name and developed for television by Peter Berg. It takes a look at life in a small football-driven community and the many challenges faced by Coach Eric Taylor and his team. Before ‘Winning Time,’ the series refined the popularity of sports drama on prime time television. For that reason alone, ‘Friday Night Lights’ is worth checking out!
1. The White Shadow (1978-81)
‘The White Shadow’ is a drama series created by Bruce Paltrow that follows Ken Reeves, a white coach who takes up the job of coaching the racially mixed basketball team of a local impoverished high school. The series was well ahead of its time and is one of the few shows to feature a predominantly African-American cast. Similar to ‘Winning Time,’ the series deals with various complex social issues faced by basketball players. Moreover, its 80s visual aesthetic will also remind viewers of ‘Winning Time.’ Due to its groundbreaking portrayal of basketball on television, ‘The White Shadow’ takes the top spot on our list!
Read More: Is Winning Time Based on a True Story?