SPOILER ALERT: This text comprises spoilers for “The Greatest Is But to Come,” the March 20 episode of “Profitable Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” which is now streaming on HBO Max.
On the third episode of HBO’s “Profitable Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” audiences are launched to an NBA determine that even a fair-weather basketball fan needs to be accustomed to. Pat Riley has been a towering power in basketball for greater than half of the game’s skilled historical past, incomes 10 NBA championships between his time enjoying, teaching and serving as an government. Riley has been the group president of the Miami Warmth since 1995, however earlier than that, he helmed extremely profitable teaching runs with the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, two different huge NBA establishments.
But when Riley (Adrien Brody) first enters “Profitable Time,” the destined chief is a far cry from the Armani fits and slicked-back Gordon Gekko hair which have come to outline his picture. As an alternative, the 1979 Riley shuffles as much as the Discussion board for a job interview — his ’70s mop billowing within the wind — and is firmly turned away by a safety guard who doesn’t acknowledge him. Riley returns dwelling to a spouse (Gillian Jacobs), involved concerning the retired ball-player’s stagnation, and sneaks right into a backyard shed to sulk alone. It is a man entrapped in a textbook third-life disaster.
“I’ve at all times seen [that first scene] as Riley having an appointment, however that he simply wasn’t on an inventory. It’s a humbling second,” Brody says in an interview with Selection. “It’s a problem to be up in opposition to a level of rejection [while trying to] get his foot within the door — not solely metaphorically, in that second… It’s a deep inside battle of understanding all that he has to supply for the sport, and by some means not having the ability to join with that. The truth that we all know what a tremendous journey the person has had in his life makes that second extra poignant, extra relatable.”
Issues are wanting up for Riley by the top of the episode. He lands a gig as an announcer for the Lakers, and reconnects along with his outdated colleague Jerry West (Jason Clarke), who has one foot out the door of the group. Nonetheless, it’s troublesome to think about that Riley has any concept what alternatives are in retailer for him within the coming weeks.
Right here, Brody talks to Selection about his personal relationship with the NBA, what he discovered about Riley whereas making ready for the position and the way his efficiency will because the season continues.
Do you comply with the NBA? Are you a fan of any explicit groups?
Yeah, I like the game very a lot. I’m a New Yorker, so I like the Knicks. However I additionally spend a substantial amount of time in Los Angeles, so I assume I’m a fan of the Lakers as properly.
My condolences for the season.
They’re all preventing. They’re all preventing arduous.
Whenever you visitor starred on “Succession” final fall, you advised Selection that you simply joined that sequence since you have been already involved with HBO concerning “Profitable Time.” What drew you to enjoying Pat Riley right here?
I ended up talking a terrific take care of Max Borenstein, our showrunner. The thrilling factor was to be taught all concerning the many challenges that Pat Riley was going through at this level in his life that I wasn’t aware about. Initially, I used to be simply excited concerning the prospect of leaping into the sneakers of somebody that I’ve at all times held in excessive regard, however then this opened up a complete new degree of understanding of his journey. That’s what the crux of it was.
Riley has a towering legacy throughout three NBA organizations. How do you separate the Riley that’s inside the favored creativeness out of your strategy to portraying him?
The writing chronicles a really completely different time in all of those figures’ lives, [the] preliminary phases of all their careers. It’s a very fascinating factor to see somebody who’s completed a lot at that juncture. He had already had a really profitable profession as a ball-player and he already had a hoop in hand. It was about navigating a person’s life in transition and being affected person to search out the important thing into the following section of that journey. That’s actually all I wished to deal with on this preliminary depiction of life.
Riley is struggling all through this complete episode; it seems like he spends most of it on the verge of tears.
After I spoke with Max about this, I discovered a lot extra about this struggling section of [Riley’s] life — this second of transition between placing a profitable ball-playing profession to mattress after which coming to phrases with being retired. That is what athletes face. That was new to me to contemplate that as a result of I’ve at all times held Pat Riley in such excessive regard. He carries himself in such a means that the arrogance he exudes is highly effective and uplifting. It’s a very great factor to acknowledge that journey.
Are we going to see Riley’s confidence blossom because the sequence continues?
I hope. God prepared, [the series] could have some legs. There may be a lot of room for Pat to actually come into his personal. We simply need to comply with the chronology of the occasions that came about. However I’m very enthusiastic about that evolution.
Possibly the sequence follows you all the way in which to the Miami Warmth.
Properly, I don’t suppose we’ll go that far.
This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.
“Profitable Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.