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James Worthy explains origin of his famous victory cigar celebration

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James Worthy took a celebration from a former rival and made it his own.

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Celebrities At The Los Angeles Lakers Game Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images

Since James Worthy joined Spectrum SportsNet (formerly Time Warner Cable SportsNet) as a studio analyst in 2013, he’s created a handful of notable postgame celebrations, including the Worthy clap. However, one of his celebrations is reserved for special occasions: the Worthy victory cigar.

The Worthy Cigar made its debut after the Lakers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 4, 2018 — Brook Lopez and Julius Randle combined for 39 points, and Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points off the bench. Time flies.

The inspiration behind the celebration, however, dates back to the 1980s. During a recent appearance on “Inside the Green Room,” Worthy said that he took the victory cigar celebration from a former rival head coach:

“It kinda started when we played the Celtics. I used to always say, ‘let’s get that Celtic ass, that ass.’ So then, after we beat them ... Red Auerbach used to light up these cigars after the Celtics won. When we beat them in 1985, he didn’t get to light it up, so that’s who i got it from.

“So, it’s kind of, light it up every now and then, big victory — we got the Clippers, I lit it up —special occasions. And I had some nice ones for the playoffs this year. I’m saving them.”

Let’s hope that Worthy doesn’t have to wait too long to light his playoff batch of victory cigars. After all, he’s supposed to be accompanied by LeBron James and a bottle of wine next time he does it.

Picture it with me: James and Worthy sitting courtside with Chris McGee and Allie Clifton after the Lakers’ championship trophy ceremony. Do you see it? Yeah, that’s nice.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.