Number 6 – James Worthy
For Worthy’s performance review, we selected his triple-double in Game 7 of the 1987 NBA Finals against the Detroit Pistons. Truly Worthy’s greatest Playoff performance on the biggest basketball stage there is.
Here is an excerpt from ‘The Greatest Lakers of All-Time: James Worthy‘:
Worthy’s first opportunity to score came as he grabs his first rebound, passing it off to Johnson as he brings the ball up the floor. Johnson goes straight into a post up as he backs down the much smaller Joe Dumars. Adrian Dantley, who is guarding Worthy, digs towards the ball. Worthy is left wide open as Johnson kicks it out, hitting him in rhythm as he knocks down the jump shot from 19 feet.
The game continues as both teams struggle to finish, going a combined 3-12 from the field to start. The Lakers up 4-2. Worthy’s next chance comes as he attacks the rim on the fast break. Bill Laimbeer shows why the Pistons earned their ‘Bad Boys’ nickname as he throws himself into the body of the jumping Worthy, sending him leaping into the stands to avoid trampling a photographer. The Forum audience rejoices as they rally around their goggle adorning hero. He goes 1 of 2 at the line, his total now at 3 points.
The 1st quarter goes on as the Pistons go on a quick 8-2 run to take the lead, the score now sitting at 10-9 in their favour. Dantley misses a contested jumper from the short left corner, Worthy picks up the loose ball and sets off on the run. To no surprise, he attacks the rim as he finishes over the top of Dantley, who had no way of dealing with Worthy’s mix of length and speed.
To read on, make sure to go and check out the original article.
After being selected with the number 1 overall pick in the 1982 NBA Draft, by the Lakers, Worthy would go on to play 12 seasons with the franchise. In that time he earned a Rookie First Team Selection, 7 All-Star selections, 2 All-NBA Third Team selections, an NBA Finals MVP award, 3 NBA Championships and later induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1995, the Lakers made it so no other Laker would wear number 42 again, hanging his jersey in the rafters of The Forum, and now the Staples Center. Becoming the 6th player to have his number retired by the purple and gold. A ceremony held during half time of a game between the Lakers and the Pistons, a fitting tribute to the legendary performances Worthy had against the team.
All these achievements truly show that he deserves his place on this list as a true Laker great!