On Dec. 10, 1995, the Los Angeles Lakers retired James Worthy’s No. 42 jersey during a halftime ceremony at the Great Western Forum. The Lakers trailed the Detroit Pistons at the time, but came from behind for an 87-82 victory.
Worthy became the sixth player in Lakers history to have his jersey retired. That number has since grown to nine players, plus a microphone for Chick Hearn. Kobe Bryant joins the group on Dec. 18, 2017, when the Lakers will retire Nos. 8 and 24.
Worthy was selected by the Lakers with the first overall pick in the 1982 NBA Draft and he went on to spend the entirety of his 12-year career with the franchise. During that span he played in 926 regular-season games and 143 playoff games.
The seven-time All-Star won championships with the Lakers in 1985, ’87 and ’88. Worthy was named MVP of the 1988 NBA Finals in which the Lakers defeated the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons in seven games.
Worthy averaged 22 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists during the Finals that year, and registered a triple-double in Game 7, with 36 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists.
During his career, Worthy averaged at least 20 points in four different seasons, led the Lakers in scoring from 1990-92, and ranks among the all-time franchise leaders in several categories. Worthy was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history during the league’s 50th anniversary season (1996-97).
Other career accomplishments include making the All-Rookie team and twice being named to the All-NBA team. Worthy currently works as a Lakers analyst on the team’s Spectrum SportsNet channel, and he’s provided special instruction to the team’s young forwards in recent years.
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