Kendrick Lamar Visits Lakers as Part of 'Genius Series'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 20, 2018

INDIO, CA - APRIL 13:  Kendrick Lamar performs onstage with SZA during the 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 13, 2018 in Indio, California.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella)
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

As part of the Los Angeles Lakers' ongoing "Genius Series," rap star Kendrick Lamar met with the team Friday. 

The Lakers shared photos of Lamar's visit on Twitter:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Kendrick! Lakers Genius talks, inspired and humbled 🙏 Grammy + Pulitzer = rare air! https://t.co/YO9uD3dtSE

Per ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka started the series last season to talk with players about "sacrifice, preparation and releasing negativity."

"It's funny 'cause sometimes you don't talk to other people that are at the top of their craft and when you talk to them you see the parallels," Lakers guard Josh Hart told Youngmisuk. "When he gets ready for a show, he lets all the negativity out. He doesn't party. He doesn't do certain things before shows because he wants to be dialed [in], he wants to be focused for him to get his message across in that show and people who pay money to see him." 

Actor and former WWE champion The Rock and Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix are among the notable stars who talked with the Lakers as part of the series last season. 

Pelinka explained to USA Today's Sam Amick last December the Lakers "wanted to identify geniuses in their space" because "more developed men make better basketball players."

Hart explained Lamar, who became the first rapper to win a Pulitzer Prize for his album DAMN., told the Lakers he climbed to the top of the music mountain "because of his team."

The Lakers are still figuring out their identity with new pieces like LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson playing integral roles. Their season got off to a rough start with a 128-119 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, but they are still figuring out what works as they attempt to end a five-year playoff drought.