After two consecutive losses to the Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets, the Los Angeles Lakers needed some inspiration heading into their four-game homestand.
When president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka took over, they started ‘Genius Talks’ where the most successful individuals in different industries visit the UCLA Health Training Center.
Denzel Washington, a longtime Lakers fan, was the latest guest and it could not have come at a perfect time. James reveled in the visit, and provided his favorite movies the actor has starred in, which was no easy task.
“My favorites?” James said. “That’s like asking me for my favorite Jay Z albums. Top three will be ‘Man on Fire,’ ‘He Got Game.’ Obviously, everybody wanted to be Jesus Shuttleworth growing up; for me personally, I did,” James said at shootaround.
“I would say those two right off the top. I love so many of his movies. ‘Remember The Titans,’ ‘John Q,’ ‘Training Day,’ who can forget about that one? Of course.”
Washington speaking to the Lakers also resonated for James in that he views him as a role model and source of inspiration. James explained Washington was particularly instrumental for him while growing up.
As the Lakers have started 11-9 through the first 20 games, there have been debates about their performance so far. With eight new players, some believe it is a respectable record under the circumstances while others believe they need to make a trade.
Since the Western Conference is unforgiving, there is pressure on the Lakers to win games now. As the Clippers and Golden State Warriors are currently tied for the best record, they only have a five-game lead on the Houston Rockets, who are No. 14 in the conference.
With Washington being one of the greatest actors of all-time, he is able to uniquely relate to what the Lakers are going through and put the situation in perspective.