James Worthy is a retired American professional basketball player who played the small forward position for the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association. A Basketball Hall of Famer and College Basketball Hall of Famer, Worthy is best known for being an exceptional clutch performer.

He is a three-time NBA Champion and in 1988, he was named as the NBA Finals MVP. Worthy played the entirety of his professional career with the Lakers.

Player Profile and Personal Life

James Ager Worthy was born on February 27, 1961, in Gastonia, North Carolina in the United States of America. He stands 206 cm tall and his weight was last listed at 102 kg.

Position Small Forward
Height / weight 2.06 m / 102 kg
Born 27 Feb 1961
Nationality United States United States
Playing Style Right Handed
Nickname Big Game James
Team History
27 los angeles lakers Los Angeles 1982 - 1994

He shoots right-handed and he is a Small Forward and a Power Forward.

He was married to Angela Wilder for 12 years before they divorced in 1996. They have two daughters together.

High School and College Career

Worthy attended Ashbrook High School in his hometown. In 1979, he was named a McDonald’s All-American. He was also named to the 1979 First-team Parade All-American and the 1978 Second-team Parade All-American.

Later, she committed to play for the University of North Carolina and was there from 1979 to 1982. While there, he helped lead the team to winning the 1982 NCAA Championship.

Professional Career

He joined the NBA when he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers and was the first overall pick during the 1982 NBA Draft. He played his whole career with the Lakers from 1982 to his retirement in 1994.

In his first year with the Lakers, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Worthy was instrumental in helping the Lakers win the NBA Championship three times – 1985, 1987, and 1988. In 1988, he was named the NBA Finals MVP.

In 1985, he first started wearing his trademark goggles after he scratched his cornea during a match.

In 1986, he was first named an NBA All-Star. He would be named an NBA All-Star six more times from 1987 to 1992.

Worthy has a career total of 926 games, he averaged 17.6 points per game, 3.0 assists per game, and 5.1 rebounds per game.

He retired from the sport in 1994 after being slowed by knee surgery in 1992. By the time he retired, he had played 34 finals in the NBA with an average of 22.2 points per game.

In 1996, Worthy was voted as one of the Top 50 NBA players of all time. In 2003, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2006, he was named to the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

Worthy also worked as an analyst in Los Angeles for KCAL television and he also starred in several television shows. The Lakers made him a part of their coaching staff in 2015. He has also been named to the 50th and 75th NBA anniversary teams.

Career Highlights

  • 1985, 1987, 1988 - NBA champion
  • 1988 - NBA Finals MVP
  • 1986–1992 - NBA All-Star
  • 1990, 1991 - All-NBA Third Team
  • 1983 - NBA All-Rookie First Team

  • NBA anniversary team (50th, 75th)
  • No. 42 retired by the Los Angeles Lakers

  • 1982 - NCAA champion
  • 1982 - NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player
  • 1982 - Consensus first-team All-American
  • 1982 - ACC Athlete of the Year
  • 1982 - First-team All-ACC
  • 1981 - Second-team All-ACC
  • 1982 - ACC tournament MVP

  • No. 52 retired by North Carolina Tar Heels

  • 1979 - First-team Parade All-American
  • 1978 - Second-team Parade All-American
  • 1979 - McDonald’s All-American

NBA Career Statistics

  • Points - 16,320 (17.6 ppg)
  • Rebounds - 4,708 (5.1 rpg)
  • Assists - 2,791 (3.0 apg)

  • Basketball Hall of Fame as a player, 2003
  • College Basketball Hall of Fame, 2006

Medal Record, Men’s basketball, representing the United States

  • Gold - 1979 FIBA U19 World Championship Salvador

James Worthy FAQ

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