When it comes to the grind, there may not be someone who is molded by it better than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It feels like Johnson has a movie coming out nearly once a month or so, and the ubiquitous presence in Hollywood still finds the time for his insane workout schedule and random appearances that have nothing to do with his constant movie promotions.
For example, last week Johnson gave the Los Angeles Lakers a pregame speech before they faced the Denver Nuggets, and the speech that clearly worked as they won 125-116. The Lakers dominated the early and often, as they have for much of the second half of the season having won 8 out of their last 11 games.
On Monday, The Rock took to Instagram to thank Lakers ownership for the opportunity to speak with the team. In the picture, Johnson is standing with the team holding a Lakers jersey with the number 94. He complimented the younger Lakers for having “hungry eyes” when he gave his speech, telling the team to stay hungry and to never get full.
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I feel like @kevinhart4real. I saw lots of hungry eyes during my pre game talk with the LAKERS. Thank you @lakers ownership and coaching staff for the invite to speak to the players. We’re all hungry to win. But the key to long term impactful success – is never being full. Stay focused & hungry boys and I’ll see ya down the road. #HardestWorkerInTheRoom #AndTheShortestDudeInTheRoom #PreGame #LAKERS
Johnson’s message aside, the turnaround the Lakers are making is impressive. At one point in the season, the Lakers were thought to be a sure-fire lock to land a high lottery pick for the Celtics (who own their pic). Instead the Lakers group has emerged as a feisty team to deal with on a nightly basis as the march towards the end of the season continues.
The Lakers have questions once they reach the offseason, namely what to do with soon-to-be free agent Julius Randle. The 4th year man from Kentucky has evolved into a great option as a small-ball center and provides a good scoring punch of the bench. Randle embodies The Rock’s message of having “hungry eyes” and has taken the opportunity to remake his career to make himself one of the higher priority free agents this summer. For the Lakers, if they want to continue to grow this young group of Lakers, they’re going to need to feed one of the players they developed, but if they’re chasing bigger stars they’ll likely have to let him walk.