Happy Birthday James Worthy

Darius Soriano —  February 27, 2013

Historically, James Worthy sort of gets lost in the shuffle. He was third in line behind Magic and Kareem. A vital part of “Showtime” and a guy known for rising to the occasion in big games (hence the nickname), but still someone who, will likely never be remembered as fondly by national observers as his more celebrated teammates.

Today though, on his 52nd birthday, we’ll remember Worthy for the fantastic player he was. Not just the guy who came up big in the playoffs every year, but the guy who night in and night out played a fantastic floor game with an ability to finish in a variety of ways from 18 feet and in regardless of who was guarding him. Watching the clip above, you get a real feel for how fundamentally sound, yet how creative Worthy could be when he had the ball. He had great foot work, a fantastic first step, nice touch, and excellent feel around the basket.

So, while many people nationally will always remember Worthy for raising his game in the big moments, enjoy the video above and appreciate all that he did in the little ones too. He really was a great player.

Darius Soriano

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28 responses to Happy Birthday James Worthy

  1. A great Laker. He was a very important part of Showtime’s success and its entertainment value. James Worthy was involved in two unusual plays that I will never forget. Anyone who did not live through it, should check them out on the web. One was in the 82 NCAA championship game, and the other was in the 84 Finals – Game 2. The later is a play that still eats at me to this day. It is right up there with the Horry shot in 2003, only worse. I know – I know – I should be satisfied with all the titles and accomplishments that we have. And I am. However we should have more. After all, we are “entitled” to them.

  2. I was so happy when Dr. Buss and the Lakers chose James Worthy over Terry Cummings and Dominique Wilkins. Another great move by Dr. Buss.

    James played a gritty game, and was never ashamed to say that his mother taught him how to play the game.

    Happy birthday, James “Big Game” Worthy. It’s a joy watching and listening to you on Times Warner.

  3. Happy Birthday Big game James! Legendary Hall of Fame Laker! Thanks for the memories & the championships!!

  4. Happy Bornday Big Game James .. Rockets lose

  5. and there goes GSW, 2 down 1 to go!

  6. Ahh Curry is worth buying tickets to watch,

    GS and Houston losers.

    It’s a good thing!

  7. Othello robinson February 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Big game James he made Magic great

  8. Hopefully ATL can hang on to give LA fans the trifecta of losses for the night. Can’t believe UTA is getting “handled” at home like this tonight.

    Loved Worthy–loved the goggs, and so smooth streaking up the floor on the break. He and Magic were a match made in heaven. Showtime wouldn’t have been “Showtime” without him.

  9. Big Game James. He was a monster – as good a finisher on the break as you’d ever want to see, absolutely devastating in the post, and all about the team and winning, always.

    Also, he inspired Lawrence Tanter’s coolest call for a player (which is saying something, since everything LT speaks sounds cool) – “Woooooorthyyyy!”

  10. and there goes GSW, 2 down 1 to go!

    Harvey, you’ve (we’ve) got your trifecta.

    On a night in which we’re off, we win.

  11. trifecta…didn’t want to jinx the hawks…they look pretty good by the way…Lakers will be in for a real battle with these guys.

    Happy birthday James, this should be a pretty decent present.

  12. All three lost today. Curry had 54 and still lost. Though the biggest was Ellis’s game winner.
    “Everybody is happy except for Houston.”

  13. tra,

    I refused to get excited about any of these games till they were “in the bank” and I sure wasn’t going to post anything specifically about the Utah game till it was over for fear of jinxing, even though the Hawks were up 18 when I posted.

    Interesting fact… Utah leads the league with 13 come from behind wins, when down by 10 or more points. Those guys have been doing it with mirrors all year, (though they do have a good core of big men, and youth spread out throughout the lineup). Anyway, it just gave me the feeling that they are due for some “mean reversion” as they shouldn’t be able to pull out so many close ones in the same season. I remember, 2 or 3 years ago, where there was a similar pattern with Milsap and Deron, in particular, leading them to a ton of heart stopping comebacks and close game wins, early in the season, only to see that pattern revert somewhat at the end of the season.

  14. A little bit of luck on Mr.James Worthy’s Birthday.

    Utah, Houston and Golden State all lose.


  15. It makes me sad to say this as our desperation has now led to scoreboard watching borderline playoff teams – but boy, is it a good day to be a Laker fan.

  16. I’m sticking to my prediction, we will be in 8th or tied for 7th by March 22nd.

  17. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one tracking those games.

    And wishing Big Game James a belated birthday.

  18. i will always remember Worthy palming the ball in one hand and then spinning one way or the other fast as lightning then soaring one handed with the ball to the cup. like no other.

  19. weedy SLC, great memory. I was surprised I didn’t see more of that particular move in the video.

    His finger roll was really fun to watch and not seen much in today’s NBA. Wonder if Kobe will have that shot by the end of his career.

    Happy belated bday BGJ!

  20. Rusty Shackleford February 28, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Not to take anything away from Curry’s bid night but if Kobe ever scores 50 in a loss the story is that he never let any of his teammates get involved on offense.

  21. An earlier better version of the “Big Three” in Miami. I forgot what a truly remarkable player he was. Thanks for the video.

  22. Without uh doubt,”BIG GAME JAMES” is my FAVORITE LAKER of ALL TIME. Hated him as uh TAR HEEL(HOYA4LIFE)

  23. James Worthy in his prime had an unguardable first step. It’d be really interesting to see him being D’d up by Garnett or LeBron

  24. My favorite Laker ever, no question. Happy Birthday, Big Game.

    He never got the credit he was due, and that says a lot for a guy who’s in the Hall of Fame and has his jersey up on the south wall.

  25. this video is pure bliss – (& it´s so great to hear Chick)
    Happy belated James, & thank you

  26. Worthy could’ve averaged 30 a night if he wanted to do so. But the beauty of those teams is that very good to great players sacrificed their individual games for the good of the team. Not for a year or two, but for a decade.