As the Los Angeles Lakers last number one overall pick, it’s only fitting that Hall of Famer James Worthy will represent the team at the Draft Lottery.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 30, 2014
Worthy, who is currently an analyst for the Lakers on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, will fill in for Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, who has little interest in attending the event.
In 1982 the Lakers scored the number one overall pick as the reigning NBA Champions, which marks the only time in NBA history that has occurred. The Lakers scored the pick because of a trade they made with the Cleveland Cavaliers half way through the 1979-80 season. The Lakers sent Don Ford and a 1980 first-round pick (eventually Chad Kinch) to the Cavaliers for Butch Lee and their 1982 selection. Fortunately for the Lakers, the Cavaliers ended the 1981-82 season with the worst record in the NBA, along with the San Diego Clippers. The Lakers won the coin toss between the Lakers and Clippers, which resulted in taking one James Worthy from the University of North Carolina.
The Lakers went on to win three championships with Worthy as part of the big three, along with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (all of whom were number one overall picks), in 1985, 1987, and 1988. Worthy is one of the best basketball players in NBA history and the Lakers are counting on him to bring them back the number one overall pick.
They call him “Big Game James” for a reason. Let’s hope he’s got one last trick up his sleeve.