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Will Smith made another stop on his comeback trail when he dropped by a Los Angeles Lakers practice.

The team shared photos of the 54-year-old actor visiting its facilities on Wednesday, which appeared to be related to the release of his upcoming Civil War-era drama Emancipation.

The visit is Smith’s latest attempt to revive his damaged career in the wake of his shocking Oscars ceremony slap, after he held an early screening of the film for a group of friends and A-listers including Rihanna, A$AP Rocky and his one-time critic Dave Chappelle.

Honored: Will Smith, 54, was presented with a number 14 jersey after spending time with the Los Angeles Lakers team as part of its Genius speaker series

Honored: Will Smith, 54, was presented with a number 14 jersey after spending time with the Los Angeles Lakers team as part of its Genius speaker series

Honored: Will Smith, 54, was presented with a number 14 jersey after spending time with the Los Angeles Lakers team as part of its Genius speaker series

Smith was beaming ear to ear in a group photo that was held in what looked like a screening room as he held aloft a number 14 jersey with his name on it while surrounded by the NBA stars.

The screen behind him indicated that the Hollywood star was visiting as part of the Lakers’ Genius Series, which brings in inspirational speakers from different fields to meet with the team.

The Ali star also got a chance to shoot some hoops in the team’s practice facility, and he was seen with a soft smile on his face while holding a ball over his head on the court.

‘Huge thank you to Will Smith, who joined the team to discuss strength through togetherness, and practicing gratitude in times of great challenge,’ read the team’s caption on Instagram, which added that they were, ‘All themes in his forthcoming masterpiece film, Emancipation.’

Big day: 'Huge thank you to Will Smith, who joined the team to discuss strength through togetherness, and practicing gratitude in times of great challenge,' the team wrote on Instagram, adding that they were, 'Themes in his forthcoming masterpiece film, Emancipation'

Big day: 'Huge thank you to Will Smith, who joined the team to discuss strength through togetherness, and practicing gratitude in times of great challenge,' the team wrote on Instagram, adding that they were, 'Themes in his forthcoming masterpiece film, Emancipation'

Big day: ‘Huge thank you to Will Smith, who joined the team to discuss strength through togetherness, and practicing gratitude in times of great challenge,’ the team wrote on Instagram, adding that they were, ‘Themes in his forthcoming masterpiece film, Emancipation’

Low key: Smith was dressed casually yet sportily in a blue brick-patterned windbreaker and matching track pants while shooting hoops. He paired the suit with purple-and-white Nike basketball shoes to complement the team's colors, along with a lilac striped shirt

Low key: Smith was dressed casually yet sportily in a blue brick-patterned windbreaker and matching track pants while shooting hoops. He paired the suit with purple-and-white Nike basketball shoes to complement the team's colors, along with a lilac striped shirt

Low key: Smith was dressed casually yet sportily in a blue brick-patterned windbreaker and matching track pants while shooting hoops. He paired the suit with purple-and-white Nike basketball shoes to complement the team’s colors, along with a lilac striped shirt

Smith was dressed casually yet sportily in a blue brick-patterned windbreaker and matching track pants. 

He paired the suit with purple-and-white Nike basketball shoes to complement the team’s colors, along with a lilac striped shirt. 

The Bad Boys star got seemed to have gotten the full tour, and he posed in front of the team’s trophies.

He had a chance to meet up with the Lakers’ key executives, including owner Jeannie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka.

Pelinka met with Smith on the court and looked as if he was giving him some pointers on his shot. 

The bosses: He had a chance to meet up with the Lakers' key executives, including owner Jeannie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka

The bosses: He had a chance to meet up with the Lakers' key executives, including owner Jeannie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka

The bosses: He had a chance to meet up with the Lakers’ key executives, including owner Jeannie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka

Hands-on training: Pelinka met with Smith on the court and looked as if he was giving him some pointers on his shot

Hands-on training: Pelinka met with Smith on the court and looked as if he was giving him some pointers on his shot

Hands-on training: Pelinka met with Smith on the court and looked as if he was giving him some pointers on his shot

Earlier on Monday, Smith was hard at work on his comeback when he revealed an impressive array of stars who attended an advance screening of his upcoming film Emancipation.

The Oscar winner beamed in a photo posted to Instagram featuring a loved-up Rihanna and A$AP Rocky, along with comedian Dave Chappelle, film star Tyler Perry and more.

Will sported a particularly thick beard and close-cropped hair as he showed a toothy smile while snapping a selfie.

He was dressed casually in a cream-colored striped shirt with a charcoal jacket. 

Famous friends: Smith continued his acting comeback on Monday when he shared a star-studded photo of a screening of Emancipation featuring Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Dave Chappelle, Tyler Perry and more

Famous friends: Smith continued his acting comeback on Monday when he shared a star-studded photo of a screening of Emancipation featuring Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Dave Chappelle, Tyler Perry and more

Famous friends: Smith continued his acting comeback on Monday when he shared a star-studded photo of a screening of Emancipation featuring Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Dave Chappelle, Tyler Perry and more

Standing behind him was Rihanna, who flashed playfully bunny ears behind his head while wearing a white jacket. She wore her hair tamped down and swept over one eye, and she showed off her perfect pout while looking as if she was about to kiss her partner A$AP Rocky.

Rocky grinned ear to ear while wearing a white trucker cap. 

Dave Chappelle stood grinning in the center of the crowd in a brown shirt, while Tyler Perry showed off a playfully surprised expression while wearing a cool blue jacket. 

Pals: Also joining in the celebration was Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, along with music producer Corey Smyth and Will's longtime friend Fawn Boardley. They chatted about the film afterward

Pals: Also joining in the celebration was Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, along with music producer Corey Smyth and Will's longtime friend Fawn Boardley. They chatted about the film afterward

Pals: Also joining in the celebration was Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, along with music producer Corey Smyth and Will’s longtime friend Fawn Boardley. They chatted about the film afterward

History: Smith's latest film is a historical thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua, in which the Fresh Prince actor stars as an enslaved man named Peter who escapes from a Louisiana plantation

History: Smith's latest film is a historical thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua, in which the Fresh Prince actor stars as an enslaved man named Peter who escapes from a Louisiana plantation

History: Smith’s latest film is a historical thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua, in which the Fresh Prince actor stars as an enslaved man named Peter who escapes from a Louisiana plantation

Also joining in the celebration was Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, along with music producer Corey Smyth and Will’s longtime friend Fawn Boardley, who has also served as a style director for him and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, 51, who didn’t appear to have attended the screening.

The movie appeared to have sparked some deep conversations among the group, as a follow-up photo should Chappelle standing with his back to the screen as he spoke to the other members of the audience.

Smith’s latest film is a historical thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua, in which the Fresh Prince actor stars as an enslaved man named Peter who escapes from a Louisiana plantation and braves treacherous territory and slave hunters to make it up north to Union territory, where he is able to join the fight against the Confederacy.

The film was inspired by the life of a former slave immortalized in horrifying photos of his back, which was covered in spiderwebbing keloid scars from repeated whippings.

Race for freedom: braves treacherous territory and slave hunters to make it up north to Union territory, where he is able to join the fight against the Confederacy

Race for freedom: braves treacherous territory and slave hunters to make it up north to Union territory, where he is able to join the fight against the Confederacy

Race for freedom: braves treacherous territory and slave hunters to make it up north to Union territory, where he is able to join the fight against the Confederacy 

Painful: The film was inspired by the life of a former slave immortalized in horrifying photos of his back, which was covered in spiderwebbing keloid scars from repeated whippings

Painful: The film was inspired by the life of a former slave immortalized in horrifying photos of his back, which was covered in spiderwebbing keloid scars from repeated whippings

Painful: The film was inspired by the life of a former slave immortalized in horrifying photos of his back, which was covered in spiderwebbing keloid scars from repeated whippings

The film is Smith’s first major work since he took to the stage at the Academy Awards and slapped Chris Rock on the face while he was in the midst of presenting.

The Independence Day star said he was incensed by a joke Rock made about his wife’s lack of hair, which she shaved off to cover up hair loss she had experienced. 

Despite sweeping the Oscars up in controversy, Smith still won the award for Best Actor for starring as the father of Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard. 

Following the shocking slap, Variety originally reported that Apple planned to delay the film until 2023 to let the controversy die down.

However, it is now set for a December 2 release in theaters, followed by a streaming release on Apple TV+ on December 9.

The streaming service may have still given up its plans of having a hit for awards season, as the film may lose out on potential profits due to the short theatrical window.

Back on track: The film was originally reported to be delayed to 2023 after Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, but it will now be out in time for award season with a December 2 theatrical release; seen in March

Back on track: The film was originally reported to be delayed to 2023 after Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, but it will now be out in time for award season with a December 2 theatrical release; seen in March

Back on track: The film was originally reported to be delayed to 2023 after Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, but it will now be out in time for award season with a December 2 theatrical release; seen in March

Source: | Dailymail.co.uk

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