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Mass. native Bo Burnham to play Larry Bird in a new HBO series

Hamilton native Bo Burnham.
Hamilton native Bo Burnham.Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP/file

Who better to play Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird than ... Bo Burnham?

The comedian-musican-actor from Massachusetts will play Bird in a new HBO drama series about the Los Angeles Lakers that is based on Jeff Pearlman’s book “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s,” according to Deadline.

The Celtics and Lakers matched up in the finals three times that decade and their rivalry remains the stuff of legend. Those games drew huge television audiences — in no little part thanks to Bird.

Written by “Godzilla vs. Kong” screenwriter Max Borenstein, the series follows the 1980s Lakers’ professional triumphs and personal lives as they solidified their place as one of the most prominent dynasties of all time.


Larry Bird and Isiah Thomas during a press conference in 1987.
Larry Bird and Isiah Thomas during a press conference in 1987.Tlumacki, John Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

Burnham himself is a native of Hamilton, Mass. and graduate of St. John’s Prep. He first skyrocketed to fame for his YouTube channel in the mid-2000s before starting a career in stand-up comedy. He directed and wrote the screenplay for “Eight Grade,” and has appeared in films including “Promising Young Woman” and “The Big Sick.”

Burnham joins a cast that includes Michael Chiklis as Red Auerbach, Sally Field as Jessie Buss, Adrien Brody as Pat Riley, John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, and Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson.

Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ditikohli_.