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During the play-off run to title Worthy emerged as a feared clutch performer. Never was a nickname better suited to a player than Worthy’s moniker of “Big Game James.”. He averaged more than 24.0 points in the playoffs in both ’89 and ’90 and earned the first of his two All-NBA selections (on the Third Team) in ’90. Next. The Lakers fell in five games. Once again Riley drove the Lakers hard in 1987–88, and once again they celebrated a championship, the first back-to-back titles in the NBA since '68-'69 Celtics. The next two seasons proved to be the peak of not only Worthy’s career but of the Lakers’ dominance in the 1980s. He capped the year by scoring 36 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and handing out 10 assists as the Lakers beat Detroit 108-105 at the Forum to win the title. James Worthy in the US . His field-goal percentage of .579 topped all other rookies and remains a Lakers club record for rookies. Again, Worthy rose to the occasion in the postseason, scoring 21.5. ABC (007), Sun, Nov 15 11:00 AM PST As he would throughout his career, Worthy increased his production during the playoffs: He averaged 17.7 points and 2.7 assists in 21 postseason games, compared to 14.5 points and 1.7 assists in the regular season. Wilkes averaged 21.1 points in 1981-82 (16th in the league) and played more minutes for the Lakers than everyone except Johnson and Norm Nixon. Sign in. A fourth ring beckoned in 1988–89, but it was not to be. The top state of residence is Georgia, followed by Texas. Worthy has acted in several television shows. 42 was retired by the Lakers. fadeawayworld.net | 28d. It boosted him onto a path that saw three championship rings, enshrinement in the Naismith Hall of Fame, and being named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. During the Finals against the Pistons Worthy once again excelled as Big Game James, picking up the slack for an aging Jabbar and averaging 22 ppg, 7.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in the series. After graduating high school, Worthy attended the University of North Carolina (UNC). , In the wake of this success Worthy elected to forgo his senior year and enter the NBA draft. His 13–17 shooting, 28 point, 4 rebound finale capped a standout performance throughout the NCAA tournament, earning him its Most Outstanding Player award. I can’t be that old.”. Injuries and high mileage spelled the end for Worthy.  The Cavaliers finished with the NBA's worst record in the 1981–82 season, leaving a coin toss to decide whether they or the worst record runner-up San Diego Clippers would get the number one pick in the upcoming draft. Worthy was born in Gastonia, North Carolina. In spite of stepped up performances by both Johnson (25.2 ppg) and Worthy (24.2 ppg) in the play-offs, LA fell in the Conference semifinals to the Phoenix Suns. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. The Lakers were swept in the NBA Finals by the Philadelphia 76ers, but “Showtime” had more appearances to come at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles. When James Worthy retired before the 1994-95 season, it was fitting that Earvin “Magic” Johnson was there to describe Worthy’s career. His stardom at the University of North Carolina seemed assured. Even on Lakers teams dominated by fellow Hall of Fame and NBA Top 50 teammates Jabbar and Magic Johnson, Worthy stood out during their years together. On most NBA teams, Worthy would have been the immediate star; on the Lakers, he had to serve an apprenticeship. “I wasn’t traveling with the team, I wasn’t going to all the practices, and I wasn’t a part of the day-to-day routine. The Lakers dominated throughout the Western Conference Playoffs and faced the Boston Celtics in the Finals. James Ager Worthy (born February 27, 1961) is a retired Hall of Fame American professional basketball player. But astute trading had given Los Angeles the top pick in the Draft. No one argued with that assessment. “That told me he was a team player, and a winner too. In the playoffs, Worthy averaged 19.5 points — the only time in his career when his scoring average did not increase in the postseason. As always, he was at his best in the biggest game, scoring 28 points on 13-for-17 shooting and making a key steal of a Fred Brown pass to seal North Carolina’s victory. With Abdul-Jabbar playing his last games and Magic Johnson and Byron Scott missing three due to injuries even Worthy at his play-off best was not nearly enough. Late in Game 2 Worthy made an errant cross-court pass that was picked off and taken in for the game-tying score. Prior to the 1983-84 season, the Lakers traded Nixon to the San Diego Clippers for Swen Nater and the draft rights to rookie Byron Scott. “I wasn’t sure I would be able to come back with the same type of intensity I’d always had,” Worthy told Sport magazine in ’91. Lived in Lakeland and Polk City, FL. James Worthy was born on February 27, 1961 in Gastonia, North Carolina, USA as James Ager Worthy. And he will be recalled as the ultimate clutch player — his career postseason field-goal percentage of .544 ranks among the top 10 on the NBA’s all-time playoff list. Worthy played in 926 NBA regular season games, averaging 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and three assists per game. Fully recovered, Worthy became an All-Atlantic Coast Conference forward as a sophomore. And James Worthy had arrived, becoming the third-leading scorer (17.6) and second-leading rebounder (6.4) on the club. “I don’t think there has been or will be a better small forward than James, and I don’t think people appreciated that,” said his coach, Pat Riley, to the Los Angeles Daily News upon Worthy’s retirement. In 1990-91, Worthy averaged 21.4 points, his highest single-season mark. Then, midway through his freshman campaign, Worthy slipped on a wet spot on the Carmichael Auditorium floor and broke his ankle. Wilkes was still at the top of his game when Worthy arrived. Plus, we had lost to them the year before, so we had a lot of incentive.”. The Lakers ran hot again in 1989–90, their 63-19 record the NBA's best. He later called it the championship that meant the most to him. He missed the last 14 games of the season and, for a time, it appeared his career might be in doubt. “James Worthy was one of the top 10 — top five — players in playoff history,” Johnson stated at Worthy’s retirement news conference. The Lakers won, the first and only time for a reigning league champion. show Webster as himself in his early career. Magic would recall that the way Worthy handled himself that first year showed immediately that he had the brains to go along with his physical gifts. When that pick turned out to be the No. As always, he shot well, finishing the regular season with a .572 field-goal percentage. In 1984-85, L.A. was the dominant team in the league.  He played in 143 play-off games and averaged 21.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game and had a 54.4 field goal percentage. Worthy would have one more noteworthy performance left in him in Game 2 of the first round of the 1993 NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns, hitting a clutch three point shot during the final stretch, giving the Lakers a 2-0 series lead against the Suns, who had the best record in the regular season. Averaging 21.5 points and 12.5 rebounds as a senior at Ashbrook, Worthy was a unanimous selection as a prep All-American. With Riley clamoring for a "Three-peat", the Lakers marched through the regular season and met the Pistons for an encore in the Finals. Johnson, after all, had made the passes on the fast break that set up hundreds of Worthy’s trademark one-handed swooping dunks. Worthy will be remembered for his breathtaking athletic skills — the blinding speed, the smooth, effortless glides to the hoop, the one-handed tomahawk jams. A tip dunk in front of Patrick Ewing captioned "James Worthy slams the door on Georgetown" made the cover of Sports Illustrated. Los Angeles was swept by the Detroit Pistons in the 1989 Finals, lost to the Phoenix Suns in the 1990 Western Conference semifinals, and fell to the Chicago Bulls in five games in the 1991 NBA Finals. Possible Associates James Doug Worthy could have been associated with Miranda Hope Call, Gretchen Nicole Gammo, Angela Gayle Trottman, Steve Wiley, Harold Wiley, and Cheryl Youmans Baine. The 1985–86 season held tremendous promise for the Lakers, which all disappeared in a preternatural tip in 1986 NBA Playoffs by 7' 4" Houston Rockets star Ralph Sampson.
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