LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have been off to a terrible start to the 2022-23 season, having gone 0-3 to begin the year thanks in no small part to putrid production from beyond the arc. The tension in LA is at an extreme, especially towards Russell Westbrook, who has been having a stinker of a season thus far. The Lakers need all the help they can get in their quest to shake off their miserable start.

And they got it from an unlikely source in… Hollywood star Will Smith?

In the buildup towards the Lakers’ Wednesday night clash against the Denver Nuggets on the road, the celebrity famously known for his role in the hit sitcom Fresh Prince of Belair and his starring role in the Men in Black franchise and Independence Day, among others, paid the Lakers locker room a visit to give them some much-needed words of encouragement.

Per the Lakers’ official Twitter account:

“Huge thank you to Will Smith, who joined the team to discuss strength through togetherness, and practicing gratitude in times of great challenge. All themes in his forthcoming masterpiece film, Emancipation,” the post reads.

The synopsis of Will Smith’s upcoming film is as follows, per IMDb: “A runaway slave forges through the swamps of Louisiana on a tortuous journey to escape plantation owners that nearly killed him.” The film deals with extremely heavy themes that remain pertinent in this day and age, what with the still-rampant racial discrimination that’s being experienced by a lot of people of African descent.

Perhaps a reminder of just how far humanity has come, in addition to the sobering realization that there is still a lot of work left to be done to remedy this certain social issue, could help establish a healthy perspective for the Lakers’ group of guys.

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On the lighter side of things, LeBron James and the Lakers will face an intriguing litmus test as they face the Nuggets without Russell Westbrook, who has been scapegoated endlessly as the reason for the Lakers’ rough start.

If the Lakers’ season was a movie, this part of the story would be the buildup to the riveting climax. As most enthralling stories go, the protagonists need to encounter conflict, and perhaps even feel as if there’s no way out of the circumstance they find themselves in. Such is the case for LeBron James and his crew, and maybe the game against the Nuggets could be the start of a quick climactic montage that shows the Lakers overcoming the adversity thrown their way.