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Lakers Season Countdown: 42 days, James Worthy

In this series, we will count down the days until the Lakers first regular season game on October 28th. Each day we will discuss who wore that number best, and who wears it now or who wore it last.

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Ken Levine/Getty Images

We're getting ready for a brand new season of Los Angeles Lakers basketball, so to count down the days we'll be looking at the best Lakers to wear the number. We'll continue at 42 days until the regular season begins, with "Big Game" James.

Who wore it the best: James Worthy

(Credit: Mike Powell, Getty Images)

James Worthy was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the #1 overall pick in the 1982 NBA draft. This marked the only time a #1 overall pick was able to be selected by the reigning league champion. In 1979, the Lakers traded Don Ford to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for the 1st round draft pick. After the Cavs had the worst record in the NBA in 1981, the #1 pick came down to a coin flip (per league rules at the time). The Lakers were lucky enough to win the coin flip.

Worthy played 12 years in the NBA, all with the Lakers. He was a 7-time All-Star, a 3-time champion when the Lakers won in 1985, 87 & 88, as well as an NBA Finals MVP in 1988. Worthy proved that he was worthy of the nickname "Big Game James" in game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals. With the Lakers barely pulling out the victory 108-105, Worthy put up 36 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. Worthy was elected into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2003.

Seasons w/ Lakers








James Worthy









Who wore it last: James Worthy

Nobody will ever wear this number again, as the Lakers have retired it. It will forever sit in the rafters at Staples Center.

#42 - Who has worn it:

Mahdi Abdul-Rahman (1965-1967)

Connie Hawkins (1974-1975)

Lucius Allen (1976-1977)

James Edwards (1978)

James Worthy (1983-1994)

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