The Los Angeles Lakers welcomed actor-comedian Dave Chappelle to their facilities on Monday (November 18) as part of their “Genius Series.”
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka started the series when he took over in 2017 as a way for the Lakers’ players to engage with professionals at the top of their respective crafts and gain insight into their mindsets.
Four-time league MVP and Lakers superstar LeBron James was appreciative of his friend stopping by and shouted him out on Instagram.
Head coach Frank Vogel thought Chappelle’s message to his players was excellent.
“He’s great,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel told ESPN. “That guy’s incredible. He really is. Our whole mindset with the genius series is to just get people that are the best at what they do. He’s the best of all time at stand-up comedy and his parts in acting and everything. We just like to get a peek, get a glimpse into what it took to become the best for those guys. He had some great messages for our guys.”
Chappelle, among the great stand-up comics of this generation, joins a list of other luminaries to have been part of the series, including: Denzel Washington, Kendrick Lamar and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Being a member of the Los Angeles Lakers certainly has its perks.
One of two professional NBA teams located in Tinsel Town gives great access to some of the biggest celebrities in entertainment.
Not to mention the Lakers brand has tremendous equity from its glory days in the ’80s and 2000s. They have arguably the most famous fans in any sport.
“Definitely multiplied, magnified times 10 from anywhere else I’ve been,” said Lakers guard Danny Green. “How many fans and celebrities on the road cheering, it feels like America’s team everywhere we go. But also all the types of celebs I got to grow up watching and still a fan of, sitting courtside and want to be friends and say hello and speak. It’s kind of crazy and surreal.”
Monday’s session was a good experience for all parties involved. The players got a chance to hear from another top performer, and Chappelle got to shoot some hoops with NBA ballers.
“He’s just a funny person,” Kyle Kuzma said. “I think [he] may have tried to be serious, but he ended up just kind of being funny because that’s who he is. Just telling us what he thought about life and how to be happy.”
No doubt fans of Chappelle’s Show can’t help but remember the late Charlie Murphy’s “True Hollywood Stories” skit involving a legendary pickup basketball game with the late great music icon Prince.