James Ager Worthy is a professional basketball player, sports commentator, television host, and analyst. His remarkable achievements include being a seven-time NBA All-Star, three-time NBA champion, and the 1988 NBA Finals MVP.
He has also been named one of the “50 Greatest Players in NBA History”.
James was born on February 27, 1961, in Gastonia, North Carolina. He actively led Ashbrook High’s basketball team to the state championship game. His eye-catching performance got him featured in the future NBA Hall of Fame.
Worthy played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1982-1994. Throughout his career, he was a seven-time NBA All-Star, three-time NBA champion, and the 1988 NBA Finals MVP.
Number 1 pick
Worthy started his basketball career by playing for the Lakers. He immediately made his presence dominant by his outstanding performance, even as a rookie. Despite breaking his leg on April 10, 1983, he was still named to the 1983 All-Rookie First Team.
He was back in the court for the opening of the 1983–84 season. Even though the Lakers dominated throughout the Western Conference Playoffs, they still lost against the Celtics.
Big Game James (1985)
In 1985, the Lakers were against the Celtics once again. Worthy averaged 21.5 points per game on 62.2% shooting in the playoffs and 23.7 points per game. This confirmed him as one of the league’s premier players. This year, Worthy also had an eye injury that made him wear eyewear for the rest of his career.
In the 1985–86 season, James continued to focus on himself, raising his scoring from 17.6 to 20 points per game. It was evident that the Lakers required frontcourt help, so they added Mychal Thompson in 1987. Worthy led the team with 23.6 points per game in the playoffs. The Lakers won the championship that year.
The Lakers once again won another championship in the year 1987–88. Worthy averaged 22 ppg, 7.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists during the Finals against the Pistons. In 1991, during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the Blazers, Worthy suffered a high ankle sprain.
The Lakers were in bad form because of the sudden retirement of Magic Johnson and Worthy’s injury. His high ankle injury during the 1991 playoffs made his health deteriorate. He finally announced his retirement in November 1994 after struggling with knee pain. He played for 12 seasons in the NBA.
Notable Awards and Achievements
Throughout his career, Worthy has earned various awards and has set groundbreaking records. He played in 926 NBA regular-season games, averaging 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and three assists per game. He also ranks sixth all-time in the Lakers team and third all-time in team steals.
Worthy got voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. In 2003, he was also introduced to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
James Worthy continued to excel in his professional life even after retiring. He was a studio analyst for Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes and co-host of Access SportsNet.
He was also hired to coach the Lakers team. Overall, his life also has the perfect balance between career and family. He was married for 12 years to Angela Wilder, and they had two daughters together.