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LeBron James calls Denzel Washington a role model, lists his favorite Denzel movies

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LeBron James looked up to Denzel Washington growing up, but drew a bit of a blank when asked his favorite Denzel movies.

Graphic via Grant Goldberg / Silver Screen and Roll

Denzel Washington was the latest speaker as part of the Los Angeles Lakers’ “Lakers Genius Talks” program, where groundbreakers address the team to tell their story and hopefully inspire players to reach their full potential. Washington’s career is one of the absolute greatest in the history of cinema and, according to LeBron James, Washington had quite the impact on the 16-year veteran on his way to one such career in a different field.

James went so far as to call Washington (and other entertainers) a role model for him growing up with a pretty phenomenal quote.

Less, phenomenal, however, was his response when asked to list his favorite Denzel movie(s). (via Tania Ganguliu of the L.A. Times)

“My favorite? Oh, my goodness. That’s like asking me for my favorite Jay Z album... Top three? Top three would be ‘Man on Fire,’ ‘He Got Game,’ obviously, everybody wanted to be Jesus Shuttlesworth growing up. For me, personally, I did it. And... I don’t know... I would say those two right off the top. I mean, I love so many of his movies, to be honest. I mean, ‘Remember The Titans,’ ‘John Q,’ ... (reporter mentions ‘Training Day’) Yeah, ‘Training Day,’ wow, who could forget about that — I mean, Lonzo, yeah. So there’s just so many, so many.”

Just for context, look how long it takes James to mention Training Day. TRAINING DAY. YOU KNOW, THE MOVIE DENZEL WON AN OSCAR FOR.

Since we’re on the subject, I’ll go ahead and put together the definitive list of Denzel Washington movies. Take notes, ‘Bron.

  1. Training Day - This requires no explanation.
  2. Man on Fire - The music in this movie is incredible and he kills a dude with a bomb up the *cough*
  3. Remember The Titans - “STRONG SIDE! LEFT SIDE!”
  4. He Got Game - Such an incredible flex from LeBron above saying he actually pulled off becoming Jesus Shuttlesworth after having played with Ray Allen — who played Jesus Shuttlesworth.
  5. American Gangster - The dynamic between Washington and Russell Crowe was incredible. Would be great if James and Brandon Ingram could reach that kind of chemistry.

Honorable Mentions: Inside Man, John Q, Flight, Book of Eli... Really this list could go on forever. And it almost did, before LeBron mentioned “Training Day.”