For the bulk of the year, the future of Will Smith’s career was heavily debated. For decades, he has been known as the squeaky-clean rapper who evolved from being everyone’s favorite Fresh Prince from Philly to an actor with a blemish-free career. That all came to a screeching halt earlier this year when he slapped Chris Rock on the Oscars stage, and even after issuing several apologies, Smith faced ridicule.
It is unclear where he currently stands with Rock, but after remaining out of the spotlight for months, Smith is ushering in a new season. The entertainment icon has been offering private viewings of his upcoming film Emancipation, and his famous friends have eagerly accepted his invitations.
We recently reported on Smith posing alongside the likes of Rihanna, Tyler Perry, A$AP Rocky, and others as that group received elite Emancipation treatment. In a more recent update, Smith has also connected with the Los Angeles Lakers for yet another preview of his Apple film.
The Oscar winner uploaded a photo that showed himself with the team, as well as owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka. Smith was presented with a No. 14 jersey and in the caption to his post, he suggested that L.A.’s squad wouldn’t be the only one he would visit in upcoming days.
Over on the Lakers’ official Instagram page, they, too, shared the image and added, “Huge thank you to Will Smith, who joined the team to discuss strength through togetherness, and practicing gratitude in times of great challenge. All themes in his forthcoming masterpiece film, Emancipation.”
The film will be Smith’s first return to the screen since his scandal, so reactions to Emancipation‘s arrival are being followed closely—especially considering this was shelved following his Academy Awards controversy.