Today in Sports History: December 10

By Veronica An

The Los Angeles Lakers retired James Worthy’s No. 42 jersey during a 1995 halftime game against the Detroit Pistons. Worthy was only the sixth player in team history to have his number retired. Worthy was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 1982 NCAA championship when he played small forward for the North Carolina Tar Heels and was also the Laker’s number one pick of the 1982 draft. Nicknamed “Big Game James,” Worthy was known for his Statue of Liberty dunks, fast breaks, and ability to score with both hands. During the 1985 game against the Utah Jazz, he suffered a scratched cornea and began wearing eye protection to every game. Worthy made had seven consecutive All-Star appearances starting in the 1985-6 season played in both the 1987 and 1988 championship games. In 1990, the Lakers made it back to the Finals and Worthy held a team-leading and career high 21.4 ppg. Worthy played 12 seasons in the NBA, averaging 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and three assists per game. He was named one of the “50 Greatest Players in NBA History” and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. Worthy 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).

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