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Los Angeles Lakers bring in Denzel Washington to lift spirits amid two-game losing skid

ESPN.com | Updated: 2018-11-30 07:00:09

LOS ANGELES -- With the Los Angeles Lakers mired in a two-game losing streak -- the last loss being a 32-point drubbing by Denver -- the team turned to Coach Herman Boone from T.C. Williams High School to give them a pep talk.

Well, the actor who played the football Coach Boone in "Remember the Titans," anyway. Denzel Washington was the latest guest in the Lakers' "Genius Series" this week -- Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka regularly invites notable speakers in entertainment and other industries to address the team -- and his message came at a fortuitous time.

"It's great," said Lakers coach Luke Walton on Thursday. "People are frustrated and angry after those types of games, so you bring in someone like Denzel, and he talks about the things he talks about, it does a nice job of lifting spirits."

Walton said the 63-year-old actor's message provided welcome perspective to his team, which is 11-9 and hosts the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.

"Be good to people. Be thankful for what we have," Walton said, paraphrasing Washington's talk. "Start every day being humble and grateful for the lives we live and use the blessings we have to help other people."

Washington, who often sits courtside at Staples Center across from the Lakers' bench and played college basketball at Fordham where he was coached by former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst P.J. Carlesimo, inspired LeBron James to share part of the Oscar winner's message on his Instagram account.

View this post on Instagram

"You ain't never seen a U-Haul behind a hearse. U can't take it with you when it's your time so it's not how much u got it's what you do with it while you're here with it. Inspire those that you have no idea who's watching"-Denzel

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