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The Best Episodes of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

Every episode of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty!

A fast-break series chronicling the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties — a team that defined an era, both on and off the court.

Genres:DramaComedy
Network:HBO

Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty" is "Promised Land", rated 8.9/10 from 1037 user votes. It was directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield and written by Max Borenstein, Rodney Barnes. "Promised Land" aired on 5/8/2022 and is rated 0.1 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "The Hamburger Hamlet".

  • Promised Land
    8.9/10 1,037 votes

    #1 - Promised Land

    Season 1 Episode 10 - Aired 2022-05-08

    Down two men and with the 1980 NBA Championship on the line, the outnumbered Lakers look to an unlikely source for inspiration. In Philly, Earvin faces off against his role-model-turned-rival Dr. J, while in LA, Haywood grapples with his own worst enemy: himself.

    Director: Salli Richardson-Whitfield

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Rodney Barnes

  • The Hamburger Hamlet
    8.8/10 644 votes

    #2 - The Hamburger Hamlet

    Season 2 Episode 5 - Aired 2023-09-03

    After making his opinion of Westhead known, Earvin gives Buss an ultimatum – leaving West and Pat to pick up the pieces.

    Director: Tanya Hamilton

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Jim Hecht, Rodney Barnes

  • Who the F**k Is Jack McKinney?
    8.5/10 1,196 votes

    #3 - Who the F**k Is Jack McKinney?

    Season 1 Episode 4 - Aired 2022-03-27

    As the Lakers head to Palm Springs for the start of training camp, Buss finds himself in over his head financially, and the team's new coaches struggle to prove their vision for a groundbreaking method of play. Meanwhile, Jeanie works to bring her father's flair to the Forum.

    Director: Damian Marcano

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Jim Hecht

  • Invisible Man
    8.5/10 1,070 votes

    #4 - Invisible Man

    Season 1 Episode 7 - Aired 2022-04-17

    While Buss clashes with West over the coaching staff, Paul calls in a favor from Pat Riley. On the road for the first time, Earvin attempts to reconnect with loved ones in Lansing, before heading to Boston to square off against longtime rival Larry Bird.

    Director: Payman Benz

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Rodney Barnes

  • Pieces of a Man
    8.4/10 1,106 votes

    #5 - Pieces of a Man

    Season 1 Episode 5 - Aired 2022-04-03

    As the Lakers prepare for their season opener against the Clippers, an increasingly frustrated Kareem begins to doubt his place on the team – allowing Coach McKinney to stoke his growing rivalry with Earvin. Jeanie courts star talent for newly minted cheer squad, the Laker Girls, including a promising young dancer, Paula Abdul.

    Director: Tanya Hamilton

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Rodney Barnes

  • "BEAT L.A."
    8.4/10 536 votes

    #6 - "BEAT L.A."

    Season 2 Episode 6 - Aired 2023-09-10

    Following a series of triumphant wins and devastating losses, the Lakers vie for a face-off with the Celtics – and Larry Bird.

    Director: Salli Richardson-Whitfield

    Writer: N/A

  • California Dreaming
    8.3/10 958 votes

    #7 - California Dreaming

    Season 1 Episode 8 - Aired 2022-04-24

    As the Lakers continue their successful run, Paul and Pat are forced to reckon with the tenuous nature of their positions. Then, Earvin meets his childhood hero at the NBA All-Star game, where he receives some sage advice. Jessie convinces Jeanie to help shield her father from a devastating truth.

    Director: Payman Benz

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Rodney Barnes

  • Acceptable Loss
    8.3/10 910 votes

    #8 - Acceptable Loss

    Season 1 Episode 9 - Aired 2022-05-01

    As the Lakers prepare to enter the play-offs, Buss struggles with the team's tenuous coaching situation and his mother's failing health. Later, Haywood receives an ultimatum from Kareem.

    Director: Salli Richardson-Whitfield

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Rodney Barnes

  • What Is and What Should Never Be
    8.3/10 555 votes

    #9 - What Is and What Should Never Be

    Season 2 Episode 7 - Aired 2023-09-17

    Tensions between the Lakers and Celtics flair as Earvin and Larry each fight to the bitter end of the 1984 NBA Finals.

    Director: Salli Richardson-Whitfield

    Writer: N/A

  • The Swan
    8.2/10 1,645 votes

    #10 - The Swan

    Season 1 Episode 1 - Aired 2022-03-06

    1979. Businessman Jerry Buss stakes his fortune on the purchase of the NBA's lackluster Los Angeles Lakers. Meanwhile, the team's head coach, Jerry West, bristles at the prospect of drafting college phenom Earvin Johnson – who must decide if he's ready to live up to the mantle of his nickname: Magic.

    Director: Adam McKay

    Writer: N/A

  • The Second Coming
    8.0/10 548 votes

    #11 - The Second Coming

    Season 2 Episode 3 - Aired 2023-08-20

    In the 1970s, Larry Bird rises from small-town college drop-out to the Celtics' top pick. Later, Earvin presses Buss for a better deal.

    Director: Todd Banhazl

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Rodney Barnes, Rebecca Bertuch

  • The New World
    7.9/10 524 votes

    #12 - The New World

    Season 2 Episode 4 - Aired 2023-08-27

    Despite his record-breaking new contract, Earvin continues to butt heads with his teammates… and his domineering coach.

    Director: Tanya Hamilton

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Jim Hecht, Rodney Barnes

  • The Good Life
    7.8/10 1,145 votes

    #13 - The Good Life

    Season 1 Episode 3 - Aired 2022-03-20

    Leaving the Lakers to deal with the fallout of Coach West's shocking announcement, Buss travels to Las Vegas, and soon becomes entangled with a dangerous foe. Back in LA, Earvin finds himself alone in a new city, while former Laker Pat Riley seeks out a new place within the team.

    Director: Damian Marcano

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Jim Hecht

  • The Magic Is Back
    7.8/10 564 votes

    #14 - The Magic Is Back

    Season 2 Episode 2 - Aired 2023-08-13

    When Earvin’s return threatens the Lakers’ new "system," Pat Riley and Jerry West push for a risky trade. While Coach Westhead fights for his team, Jeanie clashes with her brothers, and a melancholy Buss attempts to court a figure from his past.

    Director: Trey Edward Shults

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Jim Hecht, Rodney Barnes

  • Is That All There Is?
    7.7/10 1,245 votes

    #15 - Is That All There Is?

    Season 1 Episode 2 - Aired 2022-03-13

    After giving Coach West carte blanche with the Lakers roster, Buss attempts to charm fellow franchise owner of the Celtics, Red Auerbach. Meanwhile, Earvin's efforts to impress the women in his life fall flat, and Claire's mandate to get creative brings conflict with Buss' daughter, Jeanie.

    Director: Jonah Hill

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Jim Hecht

  • Memento Mori
    7.7/10 979 votes

    #16 - Memento Mori

    Season 1 Episode 6 - Aired 2022-04-10

    Assistant coach Paul Westhead adds to the Lakers' growing list of problems when he finds himself dealing with a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. Increasingly courted by corporate sponsors, Earvin consults a newfound financial advisor.

    Director: Tanya Hamilton

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Rodney Barnes, Rebecca Bertuch

  • One Ring Don't Make a Dynasty
    7.7/10 653 votes

    #17 - One Ring Don't Make a Dynasty

    Season 2 Episode 1 - Aired 2023-08-06

    1980. As the Lakers' post-victory season begins, a laser-focused Jerry Buss shores up his all-star roster – and his relationship with his children. Later, a catastrophic injury threatens the team's chance at defending their title.

    Director: Salli Richardson-Whitfield

    Writer: Max Borenstein, Jim Hecht, Jeff Pearlman