Magic Johnson ain't watching HBO's hit series about his time with the Showtime Lakers ... but the actor who plays him is defending the show -- telling TMZ Sports everyone on the project means absolutely no disrespect to the Hall of Famer.
Icons like Magic and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have recently spoken out against "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty" ... with Johnson telling us earlier this year he wouldn't be watching, and the latter saying the show is a waste of time to any REAL Laker fan.
We spoke with Quincy Isaiah -- star of "Winning Time: Rise of the Lakers Dynasty" -- out at LAX this week ... and he wantsMagicto know that he meant no harm with how he portrays his character in the doc.
"I mean, I understand where they coming from because it's a story about their life," Isaiah said. "So, it's tough. But I really feel like we did a really good job of showing humans and showing a full version of who we at least perceive them to be."
"There's no malice behind it."
FYI, 'Winning Time' chronicles the professional and personal lives of the Lakers in the 1980s -- a dynasty that won 5 championships and went to 9 NBA Finals.
Quincy -- who plays Magic in the series -- says despite some of the pushback he's received from the real Lakers, the purpose of the doc is to take real-life events and turn them into entertaining content.
"At the beginning and end of every episode it says 'this is a dramatization,'" Isaiah said. "We take real facts that happen, and we make it good for TV."
Q tells us he's thankful for the persona Magic created for himself as a star athlete ... 'cause it's opened doors for him in his acting career.
"Magic, man, I love you dude," Isaiah said. "You literally lived an incredible life so that I could ... I'm getting into an Escalade because he lived an incredible life. I have nothing but love and respect for that man," Isaiah said.
Isaiah believes if he ran into Johnson one day, there would be no bad blood because Magic understands he's just acting, and there's no ill-will.
Although Johnson's not watching Quincy, Isaiah says he's looking forward to the Laker legend releasing his doc "They Call Me Magic," which premieres on April 22 ... and he encourages everybody to watch both.
Finally, we asked Q about this year's disappointing Lakers team, and he said what NBA fans had known all season.