James Worthy: Where is Ex-LA Lakers Player Now?

Image Credit: The Players' Tribune/YouTube

James Worthy is a name synonymous with the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team’s “Showtime” era during the 1980s. The Showtime era is also the focus of the HBO sports drama series ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.’ The show’s second season covers the period between 1980 and 1984 and sees James Worthy’s entry into the Lakers squad. As a result of the show’s depiction of Worthy’s career, viewers might wonder about what the former basketball player is up to these days. If you are looking for answers about James Worthy’s whereabouts, here is everything you need to know!

When Did the Lakers Sign James Worthy?

Born on February 27, 1961, in Gastonia, North Carolina, James Ager Worthy is a former basketball player known for his time with the LA Lakers. He attended the Ashbrook High, where Worthy averaged 21.5 points per game during his senior year. After winning the state championship at the high school level, Worthy attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where his team finished runners-up in the 1981 NCAA during Worthy’s sophomore year. After proving his mettle at the college level, Worthy entered the 1982 NBA Draft.

The LA Lakers had received the first-round draft pick in a trade for Don Ford. The Lakers used their pick to draft Worthy into the LA Lakers squad at the start of the 1982-83 NBA season. In his professional career, Worthy primarily played as a small forward. In his debut season with the Lakers, Worthy played alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson in an offense that had won the NBA Championship a year prior. However, on April 10, 1983, Worthy became injured after breaking his leg in a game against the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers went on to lose the NBA Finals to the Philadelphia 76ers with an abysmal 4-0 series record.

Where Is James Worthy Now?

Worthy returned to the starting lineup during the 1983-84 NBA season, replacing Jamaal Wilkes. He was part of the team that made it to the 1984 NBA Finals but lost to bitter rivals Boston Celtics. The following season, Worthy tasted success for the first time with the LA Lakers as they were crowned the 1985 NBA Champions by defeating the Celtics in a repeat of the previous year’s finals. Worthy averaged 23.7 points per game in the 1985 Finals series, the second highest behind team captain Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Worthy went on to have a successful career with the LA Lakers, winning the NBA Championship twice more in 1987 and 1989.

In November 1994, Worthy announced his retirement from professional basketball partially due to nagging injuries. Worthy spent the entirety of his professional playing career with the LA Lakers, being dubbed “Big Game James” for his incredible performances in Playoff games and Finals series. Worthy finished his career with an average of 17.6 points and 3.0 assists per game. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. The Lakers have retried Worthy’s number 42 jersey in honor of his contributions to the team.

After retiring from basketball, Worthy has worked as a television analyst covering basketball games on several networks. Worthy also had a brief stint in acting, appearing in shows such as ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and ‘Everybody Loves Raymond.’ Worthy returned to the Lakers in 2015 and served as player development coach until June 2016. He currently serves as an NBA analyst for Spectrum SportsNet and is the Owner and President of Worthy Enterprises. Worthy was married to Angela Wilder for twelve years before the couple separated in 1996. He has two daughters, Sable and Sierra Worthy. Worthy currently resides in Los Angeles, California, and is also involved in several philanthropic activities.

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