James Worthy (Born February 27, 1961), nicknamed Big Game James, was a college and professional basketball player from Gastonia, North Carolina. Standing 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in), he played small forward.
Worthy was a stand-out basketball player for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, winning the 1982 NCAA championship (freshman Michael Jordan was also on this championship team and made the final shot to win the game) before being drafted first overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. As a Laker, he contributed to 3 NBA championships in 1985, 1987, and 1988. He was best known for his one-handed tomahawk slam dunk. Although lesser known than his Hall of Fame teammates, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Magic Johnson, his teammates have regarded him as an important part of the Lakers' success. As the recipient of Magic's dazzling passes, he was a great finisher due his ability to glide seemingly effortlessly through the air to the basket. He was a member of the 1983 NBA all-rookie team (unanimous choice) as well as being voted the 1988 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. He began wearing eye goggles after suffering a severe eye injury during the 1984-1985 season.
Worthy played in 926 NBA games, had a career field goal percentage of .521, and averaged 17.6 points per game (21.1 points per playoff game). He was a first-ballot inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. His jersey (#42) was retired by the Los Angeles Lakers after his retirement.
As of the 2005-2006 NBA season, Worthy works as a color commentator for Laker game telecasts and highlights on KCAL and KCBS television stations in Los Angeles. He also has been senior vice president of RP & Associates, a marketing company in Hermosa Beach, California, since February of 2005.