James Worthy

Oh yeah, "Big Game" James as he was known. James Worthy was selected by the Lakers as the first overall pick of the 1982 draft joining Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar who would become a dominant threesome during the 80's showtime era. As a rookie he averaged 13.4 PPG and shot .579 from the field. In the 1983 season he was named to the All-Rookie first team. He was a member of three NBA championship teams, 1985, 1987 and 1988. He was a seven time All-Star and fit in perfect with Magic Johnson's fast break style of basketball, sometimes finishing the break with his 'Statue of Liberty' style slam dunk. Worthy is best known for his clutch play-off performances where he got the nickname "Big Game" James. His 28 points and 9 rebounds in Game 6 and 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists in Game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals earned him the Most Valuble Player award. After the sudden retirement of Magic in November of 1991, Worthy played for 3 more seasons. Injuries and mileage caught up with "Big Game", as an ankle injury in the 1991 Play-Offs and a knee surgery in 1992 that cut his season short, robbed Worthy of much of his quickness and leaping ability. Worthy announced his retirement in November of 1994, after 12 seasons in the NBA. Worthy played in 926 NBA games, averaged 17.6 points per game (21.1 points per playoff game). He ranks 5th all-time in team scoring (16,320), 2nd all-time in team steals (1,041), and 6th all-time in team field goal percentage (.521). Worthy had a .544 field goal percentage in the play-offs. Voted one of the top 50 NBA players of all time in 1996, Worthy was not a first-ballot inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000. However, he was later inducted into the Hall in 2003. His jersey (#42) is only one of seven retired by the Los Angeles Lakers.