'Winning Time' Episode 3: Fans say Adrien Brody 'was simply born to play' Laker's coach Pat Riley

'No, Adrian Brody is not a Pat Riley look-alike. But he’s got him in there. Great actor,' a viewer said


                            'Winning Time' Episode 3:  Fans say Adrien Brody 'was simply born to play' Laker's coach Pat Riley
Adrien Brody as Pat Riley in 'Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty' (HBO)
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Adrien Brody's Pat Riley had some major screentime in Episode 3 of HBO's hit sports drama, 'Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty'. Going through a midlife crisis after calling time on his career as a Laker, Riley is on the hunt for a job but is met with rejection, only for him to make his way back to the Lakers fold as a broadcaster (who Chuck Hearn said had a faggy voice btw) in 1977. He ultimately went on to become the assistant coach of the franchise and then the head coach.

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But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the wiry shooting guard and Episode 3 shows that as he grapples between being a success consistently rather than being like his father Leon Riley — who played 22 seasons of minor league baseball and appeared in four games for the 1944 Philadelphia Phillies. Brody's casting as Riley was an inspired choice according to fans as they shared their two cents on the episode. "Episode 3 of Winning Time was great. Adrian Brody is really good as Pat Riley and if you don't know the story about how Jerry Tarkanian was almost the Lakers head coach, it's worth it just for that. #WinningTimeHBO," one of the tweets read.

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"No, Adrian Brody is not a Pat Riley look-alike. But he’s got him in there. Great actor," one of the fans commented. "Adrien Brody was simply born to play Pat Riley. #WinningTimeHBO," another seconded. The plaudits continued. "Pat Riley in winning time is the best thing I never knew I needed," a fan remarked. "Adrien Brody is out here killin’ it as Pat Riley… #WinningTimeHBO," a tweet said. "Adrien Brody is not who I expected to play Pat Riley, but he kicks ASS at it," For some, the wait was worth it. "I've been waiting patiently for weeks for Adrien Brody to show up as Pat Riley in "Winning Time" and the moment has arrived!"

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Brody shared his thoughts on playing Riley with Variety calling his experience a "humbling moment." “I’ve always seen [that first scene] as Riley having an appointment, but that he just wasn’t on a list. It’s a humbling moment,” he opined. "It’s a challenge to be up against a degree of rejection [while trying to] get his foot in the door — not only metaphorically, in that moment… It’s a deep internal struggle of knowing all that he has to offer for the game, and somehow not being able to connect with that. The fact that we know what an amazing journey the man has had in his life makes that moment more poignant, more relatable."

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There will naturally be more of Riley over the course of the series as we see how the Lakers rise meteorically. For now, this was the start that fans needed.

'Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty' airs Sunday nights at 9 pm ET on HBO.