James Worthy

James Ager Worthy (born February 27, 1961) is an American former professional basketball player who is currently a commentator, television host, and analyst.[1] Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, "Big Game James" was a seven-time NBA All-Star, three-time NBA champion, and the 1988 NBA Finals MVP with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

A standout at the University of North Carolina, the 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) small forward shared College Player of the Year honors[2] en route to leading the Tar Heels to the 1982 NCAA Championship. Named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, he was No. 1 pick of the 1982 NBA draft of the defending NBA champion Lakers.

James Worthy
James Worthy at UNC Basketball game. February 10, 2007
Worthy in 2007
Personal information
BornFebruary 27, 1961 (age 58)
Gastonia, North Carolina
Listed height6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High schoolAshbrook (Gastonia, North Carolina)
CollegeNorth Carolina (1979–1982)
NBA draft1982 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Playing career1982–1994
PositionSmall forward
Career history
19821994Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points16,320 (17.6 ppg)
Rebounds4,708 (5.1 rpg)
Steals1,041 (1.1 spg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Early life

Worthy was born in Gastonia, North Carolina. His 21.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game during his senior season at Ashbrook High led the team to the state championship game. Named both a Parade Magazine and McDonald's All-American, he was selected to play in the 1979 McDonald's All-American Game that featured future NBA Hall of Famers Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, and Ralph Sampson.

College career

After graduating high school, Worthy attended the University of North Carolina (UNC). An immediate standout, his freshman year was cut short near mid-season by a broken ankle. As a sophomore, he was a key member of that school's 1981 NCAA runner-up team, starring alongside Al Wood and Sam Perkins.

As a junior power forward, Worthy was the leading scorer (15.6 points per game) of a Tar Heels NCAA championship team that featured one of the greatest collections of talent in collegiate basketball history,[2] including future NBA stars Sam Perkins and freshman Michael Jordan. A consensus first team All-American,[3] Worthy shared College Player of the Year honors with Virginia Cavalier Ralph Sampson.[2] He dominated the 1982 championship game against the Georgetown Hoyas, sealing the Tarheels' 63–62 victory by intercepting an inadvertent pass thrown by Hoya point guard Fred Brown with just seconds remaining. His 13–17 shooting, 28 point, 4 rebound finale capped a standout performance throughout the NCAA tournament, earning him its Most Outstanding Player award. A tip dunk in front of Patrick Ewing captioned "James Worthy slams the door on Georgetown" made the cover of Sports Illustrated.[4]

In the wake of this success Worthy elected to forgo his senior year and enter the NBA draft. He completed his degree later, via summer school. He is one of eight UNC players to have their numbers retired.[3]

NBA career

Number 1 pick

The Los Angeles Lakers had received the Cleveland Cavaliers' 1982 first-round draft pick in a 1979 exchange for Don Ford.[5] 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. The Lakers won the flip, the first and only time for a reigning league champion. They chose Worthy.

The lanky small forward immediately made an impact as a rookie, averaging 13.4 points per game and shooting a Laker rookie record .579 field goal percentage. With his speed, dynamic ability to score with either hand, and dazzling play above the rim, Worthy thrived in the Lakers' high-octane "Showtime" offense. When not finishing fast breaks with his trademark Statue of Liberty dunks or swooping finger rolls, Worthy was also one of the best post players at his position, with a quick spin move and a deadly turnaround jumpshot. His rookie year ended just when he was hitting his stride, breaking his leg on April 10, 1983, while landing improperly after trying to tap in a missed shot against the Phoenix Suns.[6] He was still named to the 1983 All-Rookie First Team but missed the rest of the season and playoffs.

Back and healthy for the opening of the 1983–84 season, Worthy's effective play soon had him replacing All-Star and fan favorite Jamaal Wilkes in the starting line-up. The Lakers dominated throughout the Western Conference Playoffs and faced the Boston Celtics in the Finals. The Lakers made many crucial mistakes during the series that cost them a chance at the championship. Late in Game 2, Worthy made an errant cross-court pass that was picked off by Gerald Henderson and taken in for the game-tying score. Game 2 ultimately was won by the Celtics in overtime. The Celtics would go on to win the series in 7 games and despite the late game mistake in game 2, James Worthy had a very strong Finals series with 22.1 pts per game (second to Jabbar) on 63.8% shooting. The Lakers would go into the off-season bitter about the loss and motivated for 1985.

"Big Game James"

With hard driving coach Pat Riley demanding nothing but a championship ring, the Lakers were on a mission of redemption in 1985. Once again they met the Celtics in the Finals, this time decided in LA's favor on the famed parquet floor of the Boston Garden.

During the play-off run to title Worthy emerged as a feared clutch performer. He averaged 21.5 points per game on 62.2% shooting in the playoffs, and his play and 23.7 points per game against the Celtics in the Finals[7] confirmed him as one of the league's premier players. It was also in 1985 that the goggles emerged after Worthy suffered a scratched cornea during a March 13 game at the Utah Jazz and started wearing the eyewear the next game March 15 versus the Spurs and for the rest of his career.

The 1985–86 season held tremendous promise for the Lakers, which all disappeared in a preternatural tip in the Western Conference final by 7' 4" Houston Rockets star Ralph Sampson. Worthy had continued to improve, raising his scoring from 17.6 to 20 points per game on 58% shooting and was named to the first of seven consecutive All-Star appearances. However, it was during the 1986 offseason that rumors were floated about a Worthy trade package to the Mavericks for Mark Aguirre and Roy Tarpley. Lakers GM Jerry West held his ground in favor of keeping Worthy and the trade never materialized. However the Lakers knew that they needed to address the aging Kareem's need for frontcourt support and Worthy reconnected with Magic Johnson in preparation for the upcoming season.

During the 1986–1987 regular season the Lakers added Mychal Thompson to address this need for frontcourt help. The team also transitioned from Kareem's team to Magic and the result was a 65-17 record and what many regard as one of the NBA's all-time great teams[8] sprinting to another NBA title over the Celtics. Worthy was at the top of his game, leading the team with 23.6 points per game in the playoffs. Worthy had a number of huge games during this 87 play-off run, in particular a vintage 39 point performance (including 6 dunks) in a 122-121 win at Seattle in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals and 33 pts 10 assists 9 rebounds in a game 1 victory in the NBA Finals versus the Celtics. The Lakers won the championship 4 games to 2.

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. During the regular season Worthy averaged 19.7 points and scored a career-high 38 points against the Atlanta Hawks. Worthy led the Lakers in scoring in the 1988 play-offs and led the NBA in points scored during the play-offs. During the Finals against the Pistons Worthy once again excelled, averaging 22 ppg, 7.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in the series.[9] A 28-point, 9 rebound Game 6 and monster 36-16-10 triple double that carried the Lakers to victory in Game 7 of the Finals earned Worthy the NBA Finals MVP award.

A fourth ring beckoned in 1988–89, but it was not to be. With Riley clamoring for a "Three-peat", the Lakers marched through the regular season and met the Pistons for an encore in the Finals. 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. In spite of averaging a career Finals high 25.5 ppg,[10] including a career high 40 points trying to stave off elimination in Game 4, the Lakers were swept in four.

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. Worthy led the Lakers in play-off scoring in their championship runs in 1987 (23.6) and 1988 (21.1) and was second to Jabbar in the 1985 championship run (21.5). Worthy always saved his best for the play-offs and averaged 3.5 points higher per game than in the regular season.

The Lakers ran hot again in 1989–90, their 63-19 record the NBA's best despite internal friction that had developed during Pat Riley's final year as head coach. 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 a hot Phoenix Suns.

It was back to the Finals again 1991, thanks to Worthy's team-leading and career high 21.4 ppg and the addition of former Tarheel star Sam Perkins. Unfortunately, Worthy suffered a high ankle sprain in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the Blazers and was very limited heading into the Finals against the Bulls. Despite LA pulling out a Game 1 victory in Chicago, it ultimately wasn't enough against a surging Chicago Bulls squad led by Michael Jordan. The Lakers ultimately fell in five games and Worthy sat out Game 5 after re-injuring the ankle in Game 4.

It would be Worthy's last chance at a fourth ring. Magic Johnson's sudden retirement in November 1991 threw the Lakers franchise for a loop. Injuries and high mileage soon spelled the end for Worthy. The high ankle injury during the 1991 playoffs and season-ending knee surgery in 1992 had robbed much of his quickness and leaping ability. After struggling with knee pain in the 1994–95 preseason, Worthy announced his retirement in November 1994, after 12 seasons in the NBA.

Worthy played in 926 NBA regular season games, averaging 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and three assists per game.[11] 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. In 34 NBA Finals games he averaged 22.2 pts per game on 53% shooting. Worthy played in 4 Game 7s in his career and averaged 27 pts 8.2 rebs on 60% shooting in these contests. He ranks sixth all-time in Lakers team scoring (16,320), third all-time in team steals (1,041) and seventh all-time in team field goal percentage (.521). Voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, Worthy was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. His jersey No. 42 was retired by the Lakers.

NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Worthy won an NBA championship


Regular season

1982–83 L.A. Lakers 77 1 25.6 .579 .250 .624 5.2 1.7 1.2 .8 13.4
1983–84 L.A. Lakers 82 53 29.5 .556 .000 .759 6.3 2.5 .9 .9 14.5
1984–85 L.A. Lakers 80 76 33.7 .572 .000 .776 6.4 2.5 1.1 .8 17.6
1985–86 L.A. Lakers 75 73 32.7 .579 .000 .771 5.2 2.7 1.1 1.0 20.0
1986–87 L.A. Lakers 82 82 34.4 .539 .000 .751 5.7 2.8 1.3 1.0 19.4
1987–88 L.A. Lakers 75 72 35.4 .531 .125 .796 5.0 3.9 1.0 .7 19.7
1988–89 L.A. Lakers 81 81 36.5 .548 .087 .782 6.0 3.6 1.3 .7 20.5
1989–90 L.A. Lakers 80 80 37.0 .548 .306 .782 6.0 3.6 1.2 .6 21.1
1990–91 L.A. Lakers 78 74 38.6 .492 .289 .797 4.6 3.5 1.3 .4 21.4
1991–92 L.A. Lakers 54 54 39.0 .447 .209 .814 5.6 4.7 1.4 .4 19.9
1992–93 L.A. Lakers 82 69 28.8 .447 .270 .810 3.0 3.4 1.1 .3 14.9
1993–94 L.A. Lakers 80 2 20.0 .406 .288 .741 2.3 1.9 .6 .2 10.2
Career 926 717 32.4 .521 .241 .769 5.1 3.0 1.1 .7 17.6


1984 L.A. Lakers 21 0 33.7 .599 .500 .609 5.0 2.7 1.3 .5 17.7
1985 L.A. Lakers 19 19 32.9 .622 .500 .676 5.1 2.2 .9 .7 21.5
1986 L.A. Lakers 14 14 38.5 .558 .000 .681 4.6 3.2 1.1 .7 19.6
1987 L.A. Lakers 18 18 37.8 .591 .000 .753 5.6 3.5 1.6 1.2 23.6
1988 L.A. Lakers 24 24 37.3 .523 .111 .758 5.8 4.4 1.4 .8 21.1
1989 L.A. Lakers 15 15 40.0 .567 .375 .788 6.7 2.8 1.2 1.1 24.8
1990 L.A. Lakers 9 9 40.7 .497 .250 .837 5.6 3.0 1.6 .3 24.2
1991 L.A. Lakers 18 18 40.7 .465 .167 .736 4.1 3.9 1.1 .1 21.1
1993 L.A. Lakers 5 0 29.6 .372 .250 .600 3.4 2.6 1.0 .0 13.8
Career 143 117 37.0 .544 .209 .727 5.2 3.2 1.2 .7 21.1

Post NBA

TV career

Worthy was a studio analyst for Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes and co-host of Access SportsNet, the networks' pregame and postgame show for Lakers game telecasts on in Los Angeles; he also served as an NBA analyst for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles.

Worthy has acted in several television shows. He portrayed the Klingon Koral in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Gambit, Part II".[12] He also guest starred as himself on Everybody Loves Raymond[13] and Webster.

Coaching career

On September 28, 2015, Worthy was hired to work with the Lakers coaching staff with a focus on the team's big men.[14][15]


Worthy is the founder of the James Worthy Foundation,[16] and dedicates a substantial amount of his time and resources to support non-profit community organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers of America, YMCA, and others.

Personal life

Worthy was married to Angela Wilder from 1984 to 1996; they have two daughters, Sable and Sierra Worthy.

See also


  1. ^ "worthy-others-join-team-120911". Twcsportsnet.com. September 12, 2012. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "James Worthy Bio". NBA.com. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  3. ^ a b UNC Men's Basketball Media Guide, 2007, p. 95.
  4. ^ Finally, its Carolina. (1982) Sports Illustrated
  5. ^ "No. 6: James Worthy". latimes.com. Archived from the original on April 28, 2014.
  6. ^ Worthy injures leg, April 10, 1983 on YouTube
  7. ^ "1985 NBA Finals Composite Box Score". basketballreference.com.
  8. ^ The 7 Greatest NBA Offenses of All Time: "The best offensive team of the Showtime Lakers era — and the best offense in NBA history"
  9. ^ "1988 NBA Finals Composite Box Score". basketballreference.com.
  10. ^ "1989 NBA Finals Composite Box Score". basketballreference.com.
  11. ^ "James Worthy Career Stats". basketballreference.com.
  12. ^ Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode 157: Gambit, Part 2. Paramount Home Video (VHS). Hollywood, California: Paramount Pictures. February 2, 1999. ASIN B000003K5M. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  13. ^ James Worthy on IMDb
  14. ^ "Lakes Hire James Worthy to Work with Coaching Staff". NBA.com. September 28, 2015. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  15. ^ "Lakers hire James Worthy to work with coaching staff, player development". SilverScreenAndRoll.com. September 28, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  16. ^ "James Worthy – Foundation | The official website of NBA player and analyst James Worthy". Jamesworthy42.com. Retrieved June 28, 2014.

External links

1981–82 North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball team

The 1981–82 North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball team represented University of North Carolina. The team played its home games in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and was a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Led by James Worthy, Sam Perkins and freshman Michael Jordan, the Tar Heels won the National Championship. It was head coach Dean Smith's first title.

1982 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament

The 1982 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament was held in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the Greensboro Coliseum from March 5–7. North Carolina defeated Virginia, 47–45, to win the championship. James Worthy of North Carolina was named the tournament MVP. Beginning with this tournament, the quarterfinals were played on Friday and the championship was held on Sunday. The finals continued to be held on Sunday until the 2015 tournament, which began with first-round games on Tuesday and ended with the final on Saturday night.

1982 NBA draft

The 1982 NBA draft took place on June 29, 1982, at the Felt Forum at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Brent Musburger reported for CBS in the days leading up to the draft that the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks were working on a wider-ranging deal that would have sent Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to New York, Bill Cartwright to the Utah Jazz, and either the #1 or #2 pick from Utah to Los Angeles (which was guaranteed one of those picks anyway due to a 1980 trade with Cleveland), with the Lakers then planning to select both Ralph Sampson and James Worthy. When Sampson decided to forego entering the draft and to return for another season at the University of Virginia, the deal fell apart and the Lakers picked Worthy with the #1 overall choice.

1982 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

The 1982 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 48 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 11, 1982, and ended with the championship game on March 29 in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. A total of 47 games were played.

North Carolina, coached by Dean Smith, won the national title with a 63–62 victory in the final game over Georgetown, coached by John Thompson. James Worthy of North Carolina was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

This Tournament was the first to eliminate the national third place game, which had been held every year since the 1946 tournament. It was also the first tournament to be televised by CBS after it acquired the broadcasting rights from NBC. Gary Bender and Billy Packer (also from NBC Sports) called the Final Four and National Championship games. In addition, it was the first tournament to include the word "Men's" in its official title, as the NCAA began sponsoring national championships in women's sports (including basketball) in the 1981–82 school year.

This was the last NCAA Tournament to grant automatic bids to the winners of ECAC regional tournaments for Northeastern Division I independents organized by the Eastern College Athletic Conference, a loose sports federation of Northeastern colleges and universities. The practice had begun with the 1975 Tournament to ensure that Northeastern independents would not be excluded, but was discontinued when all remaining Northeastern independents formed new conferences or joined existing ones after this season.

1982 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans

The Consensus 1982 College Basketball All-American team, as determined by aggregating the results of four major All-American teams. To earn "consensus" status, a player must win honors from a majority of the following teams: the Associated Press, the USBWA, The United Press International and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

1982–83 Los Angeles Lakers season

In the 1982-83 NBA season, the Lakers were attempting to become the first team since the Boston Celtics in 1969 to repeat as NBA Champions. However, on April 10, 1983, rookie James Worthy injured his leg while attempting a putback in a home loss against Phoenix, ending his rookie season. Even without Worthy for the playoffs, the Lakers did make it to the NBA Finals, only to be swept in four games by the Julius Erving and Moses Malone led Philadelphia 76ers.

1984 NBA Finals

The 1984 NBA World Championship Series, also known as Showdown '84, was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1983–84 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers in a seven-game Finals, winning Game 7 111–102. Celtics forward Larry Bird averaged 27 points and 14 rebounds a game during the series, earning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP). Bird was also named the league's regular season MVP for that year.

This series was the long-awaited rematch of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics after their rivalry was revived in 1979 with the Magic Johnson–Larry Bird pair entering the league. After the Lakers won Game 1, a crucial steal in Game 2 led to a tie game and the Celtics were able to win in overtime to tie the series. The Lakers won Game 3 easily and almost won Game 4, but were again thwarted. Now tied 2-2, the Lakers and Celtics each held serve at their home court to send the series to Boston for Game 7. Game 5 was a classic, with Bird coming up with a huge game in one of the (literally) hottest games ever (97 °F (36 °C)) in the non-air conditioned Boston Garden. Game 7 was also contested in hot temperatures that hovered around 91 °F (33 °C). The score was close but the contest eventually went to the Celtics. Cedric Maxwell scored 24 points against the Los Angeles Lakers in the decisive Game 7 victory.

Los Angeles won all three games played on Sunday afternoons. Boston won the games played on Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Friday night.

The Series schedule was an odd schedule, due entirely to the whims of television. Game One was played on a Sunday afternoon in Boston, about 36 hours after the Lakers had eliminated the Phoenix Suns in the Western Finals. The teams then had three plus days off, not playing until Thursday night. Then, after Game 3 on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles, the teams had two plus days off, not playing again until Wednesday night. That in turn started a wearying back-and-forth across the country ... Wednesday night at LA, Friday night at Boston, Sunday afternoon at LA, and Tuesday night at Boston ... to end the series.

The following year, the Finals format switched to 2-3-2, where Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 were hosted by the team with the best record. The change in format came after Red Auerbach complained about the constant travelling during the finals. The 2-2-1-1-1 format would return for the 2014 NBA Finals.

1985 NBA Finals

The 1985 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1984–85 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs.

The Boston Celtics were looking to repeat as NBA Champions for the first time since the 1968–69 season. The Celtics had homecourt advantage for the second year in a row as they finished the regular season with a 63-19 record while the Los Angeles Lakers compiled a 62-20 record. The Lakers looked to bounce back from the previous year's painful loss to the Celtics in the championship series, and were still seeking to beat Boston for the first time ever in NBA Finals history. Also for the first time, the Finals went to a 2-3-2 format with Games 1 and 2 in Boston while the next three games were in Los Angeles. The final two games of the series would be played in Boston, if required. This change of format came after David Stern had a conversation with Celtics legend Red Auerbach in 1984, who didn't like the frequent traveling between games. The 2-3-2 format would be used until the 2013 NBA Finals, after which the 2-2-1-1-1 format returned the following year.

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Celtics four games to two to defeat the Celtics for the first time in Laker history in the NBA Finals.

It would mark the last time the NBA World Championship Series branding would be in use as the NBA Finals branding would replace it the next season.

The video documentary Return to Glory recaps the 1985 NBA Playoff action.

1987 NBA All-Star Game

The 37th National Basketball Association All-Star Game was played on February 8, 1987, at Seattle's Kingdome. Seattle SuperSonics power forward Tom Chambers was the game's MVP.

The Eastern Conference team consisted of the Washington Bullets' Moses Malone and Jeff Malone, the Philadelphia 76ers' Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks and Charles Barkley, the Boston Celtics' Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale, the Detroit Pistons' Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer, the Atlanta Hawks' Dominique Wilkins and the Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan.

In addition to game MVP Tom Chambers, the Western Conference team featured the Los Angeles Lakers' Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Golden State Warriors' Sleepy Floyd and Joe Barry Carroll, the Dallas Mavericks' Rolando Blackman and Mark Aguirre, the San Antonio Spurs' Alvin Robertson, the Phoenix Suns' Walter Davis, the Denver Nuggets' Alex English and the Houston Rockets' Akeem Olajuwon. Houston's Ralph Sampson was selected but unable to play due to injury.

The coach of the Eastern team was Boston's K.C. Jones. The coach of the Western team was the Lakers' Pat Riley.

1988 NBA Finals

The 1988 NBA Finals was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1987–88 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs. The Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons 4 games to 3.

One of Los Angeles Lakers head coach Pat Riley's most famous moments came when he promised the crowd a repeat championship during the Lakers' 1986-87 championship parade in downtown Los Angeles. With every team in the league now gunning for them, the Los Angeles Lakers still found a way to win, taking their seventh consecutive Pacific Division title. While the 1988 Lakers did not produce as many wins in the regular season as the 1987 Lakers, they were just as successful in the playoffs, becoming the first team in 19 years to repeat as champions. The Lakers met the physical Detroit Pistons in the 1988 NBA Finals.

One of Pistons guard Isiah Thomas's career-defining performances came in Game 6. Despite badly twisting his ankle midway through the period, Thomas scored an NBA Finals record 25 third-quarter points, as Detroit fell valiantly, 103-102, to the Lakers at the Forum.

Thomas still managed to score 10 first-half points in Game 7, as Detroit built a 5-point lead. In the 3rd quarter, the Lakers, inspired by Finals MVP James Worthy and Byron Scott (14 3rd-quarter points), exploded as they built a 10-point lead entering the final period. The lead swelled to 15 before Detroit mounted a furious 4th-quarter rally, trimming the lead to two points on several occasions. Still, several Detroit miscues enabled the Lakers to win, 108-105.

1989 NBA All-Star Game

The 39th National Basketball Association All-Star Game was held at Houston, Texas on February 12, 1989. The game's most valuable player was Karl Malone.

The east was composed of Mark Jackson, Kevin McHale, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Mark Price, Terry Cummings, Larry Nance and Brad Daugherty.

The west was led by the Utah Jazz trio of Karl Malone, John Stockton and Mark Eaton; the Lakers' James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Clyde Drexler, Alex English, Chris Mullin, Akeem Olajuwon, Tom Chambers, Dale Ellis and Kevin Duckworth.The game set a new NBA All-Star attendance record. Neither Magic Johnson nor Larry Bird played, though both were still active in the NBA. Johnson was selected, but sat out due to injuries and was replaced by Abdul-Jabbar. Though he only scored 4 points, the game ended with Abdul-Jabbar hitting the final shot of the game, a sky hook.

The game featured a rap by rap group Ultramagnetic MCs that named each all-star and each coach. The rap was broadcast immediately before the start of the game.

The coaches were Lenny Wilkens for the East and Pat Riley for the West.

1989 NBA Finals

The 1989 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1988–89 NBA season. The series was a rematch of the previous year's championship round between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers.

During the season, the Lakers had won their division, with Magic Johnson collecting his second MVP award. The team swept the first three playoff series (Pacific Division foes: Portland, Seattle, and Phoenix), resulting in a rematch with the Detroit Pistons in the Finals. However, starting off guard Byron Scott suffered a hamstring injury in practice before Game 1 and was ruled out of the series. Then with the Lakers leading early in game 2, Magic Johnson pulled his hamstring and would also be out of the series. The Lakers had won two straight NBA championships in 1987 and 1988 but without their starting backcourt, their chances were doomed for a "3-peat."

The Pistons had dominated the Eastern Conference, winning 63 games during the regular season. After sweeping the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, the Pistons beat the Chicago Bulls in six games, earning a second straight trip to the NBA Finals. In the season before, the Lakers had beaten them in a tough, seven-game series.

The Pistons won the series in a four-game sweep, marking the first time a team (Lakers) had swept the first three rounds of the playoffs, only to be swept in the finals. As of today, the Pistons are the most recent Eastern Conference team to sweep an NBA finals. Prior to 2016, the Pistons were the only team to clinch all four series on the road.

For their rough physical play, and sometimes arrogant demeanor, Pistons' center Bill Laimbeer nicknamed the team 'The Bad Boys'. The name became an unofficial 'slogan' for the Pistons throughout the next season as well.

Following the series, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar announced his retirement at 42, after 20 years with the NBA.

Pistons' guard Joe Dumars was named MVP for the series.

Prior to the 2016 NBA Finals, when the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame the Golden State Warriors, and the 2014 NBA Finals when the San Antonio Spurs bested the Miami Heat, the Pistons were the last Finals champion to have been runner-up to the same opponent the previous season as they did in the 1988 Finals.

1990 NBA All-Star Game

The 40th National Basketball Association All-Star Game was played on February 11, 1990 at Miami Arena in Miami, Florida. Magic Johnson was named the game's MVP.

The East was led by the trio of Celtics' big men Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, and the Bulls' dynamic duo of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. The trio of Piston players Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman, plus Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, Dominique Wilkins and center Patrick Ewing completed the team.

The West was led by the Lakers' trio of Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and A.C. Green. Clyde Drexler, Akeem Olajuwon, John Stockton, David Robinson, Rolando Blackman, Lafayette Lever and Tom Chambers completed the team.Coaches: East: Chuck Daly, West: Pat Riley. This was the first of four consecutive All-Star Games in which the coaches of the previous year's NBA Finals were the head coaches of the All-Star Game.

This was the last NBA All-Star Game broadcast by CBS before moving to NBC in the following year.

1991 NBA Finals

The 1991 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1990–91 NBA season. It was also the first NBA Finals broadcast by NBC after 17 years with CBS.

The documentary "Learning to Fly," narrated by Jeff Kaye, recaps Chicago's successful first championship season. The theme song is "Learning to Fly" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The Chicago Bulls of the Eastern Conference took on the Los Angeles Lakers of the Western Conference for the title, with Chicago having home court advantage. It was Michael Jordan's first NBA Finals appearance, Magic Johnson's last, and the last NBA Finals for the Lakers until 2000. The Bulls would win the series, 4-1. Jordan averaged 31.2 points on 56% shooting, 11.4 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 1.4 blocks en route to his first NBA Finals MVP Award.The series was not the first time that the Bulls and Lakers faced off in the playoffs. Prior to 1991, they met for four postseason series (1968, 1971, 1972 and 1973), all Lakers victories. Chicago was a member of the Western Conference at the time and moved into the East in 1981. The 1991 Finals marked the first time the Bulls defeated the Lakers in a playoff series.

This series would mark the end of the Lakers Showtime era and the beginning of the Bulls' dynasty. After winning five championships in eight finals appearances in the 1980s, the Lakers would struggle for the rest of the 1990s before winning five championships between the 2000-2002 and 2009-2010 seasons.

The 1991 Lakers were led by Johnson, who was 32 and playing in what would be his last full season, as well as fellow All-Star teammate James Worthy; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had retired two seasons earlier. The Bulls, led by NBA MVP Michael Jordan and superstar small forward Scottie Pippen, would win five more championships after 1991 in a seven-year span, cementing their status as a dynasty.

When it was all said and done, Michael Jordan became only the third man in NBA history (after George Mikan and Abdul-Jabbar) to capture the scoring title and the NBA Finals Championship in the same season.

Until 2015, the Bulls were the last team to win an NBA championship despite fielding a full roster lacking in championship or Finals experience. None of the Bulls players had logged even a minute of NBA Finals experience prior to this.

1992 NBA All-Star Game

The 1992 NBA All-Star Game was the 42nd edition of the All-Star Game. The event took place at the Orlando Arena in Orlando, Florida. The West defeated the East, 153–113. The game is most remembered for the return of Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson, who retired before the 1991–92 NBA season after contracting HIV. Johnson won the MVP award after winning memorable one-on-one showdowns with Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan and then sinking a long three pointer to close the game, as the final 14½ seconds that remained on the clock were not played.

The 1992 NBA All-Star Game was broadcast by NBC for the second consecutive year.

Ashbrook High School (North Carolina)

Ashbrook High School is a public high school in the Gaston County Schools public school district located in Gastonia, NC. The school was the result of the merger of two former senior high schools, Holbrook Senior High and Ashley Senior High. The first class graduated in 1971. Its attendance range covers most of the central and eastern portions of the City of Gastonia, as well as the towns of Ranlo and Lowell, and the community of Springdale.

The school's most famous alumnus is retired basketball player James Worthy, player for the 1982 NCAA National Champion University of North Carolina and the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. Other notable alumni include MLB baseball player Wes Helms and NBA veteran Darrell Armstrong of the New Jersey Nets.Rebecca Wilson serves as principal. Assistant principals are Jennifer Bergerson, Ryan Hatley, Michael Hewitt, and Amber Tuttle. Feeder Middle Schools are W.P. Grier, Cramerton, and Holbrook.

Gerald Henderson

Jerome McKinley "Gerald" Henderson Sr. (born January 16, 1956) is an American retired basketball player. He was a combo guard who had a 13-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1979 until 1992. He played for the Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, and Houston Rockets. Henderson was born in Richmond, Virginia and attended Virginia Commonwealth University.Henderson is best known for his steal of a James Worthy pass to score a game-tying layup in Game 2 of the 1984 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics eventually prevailed in overtime. In a post-game interview, Henderson said that "For a minute I could hear Johnny Most going, 'Henderson steals the ball!'", in reference to Most's famous call of John Havlicek's steal in the 1965 Eastern Conference finals. What Most said though "And there is a steal by Henderson. A great play by Henderson Henderson also made the last second layup that sealed the victory in Game 4 of the 1990 NBA Finals for the Detroit Pistons.

In the fall of 1984 Henderson was traded to Seattle for the Sonics' first round pick in 1986, which the Celtics would use to draft Len Bias.As of 2006, he and his wife run a real estate business in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Their son, Gerald Henderson Jr. was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association in the 2009 NBA draft.

In 2012, Henderson was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

James Worthy (record producer)

James Allen Worthy (born March 28th, 1988), professionally known as James Worthy, is an American composer, record producer, recording artist, and audio engineer. He is best known for his work with artists in the music industry, including Fetty Wap, 6lack, T-Pain, Truth Hurts, Robin S, and Tony Terry.

Los Angeles Lakers accomplishments and records

This page details the all-time statistics, records, and other achievements pertaining to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team currently playing in the National Basketball Association.

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