The Showtime Era Lakers were known best for their one-two punch from Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. However, many forget that another number one overall pick and future Hall of Famer also played alongside Magic and Kareem.
James Worthy was drafted number one overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1982. Heading into the 1988 Finals, Worthy had already helped the Lakers win two NBA championships, but his greatest contribution was yet to come.
Worthy had a strong season in 1988 averaging 20 points and six rebounds per game, but he really stepped his game up in the postseason, bumping his scoring and rebounding averages up to 24 and seven respectively.
The Lakers faced a young and ruthless Detroit Pistons team in the 1988 Finals. Although Magic was in the prime of his career, another Laker star in Kareem was struggling through the worst postseason of his career. The Lakers needed another star to rise in that series and Worth was up to the task.
Worthy helped the Lakers come back from a 3-2 deficit to win the series with strong performances in both games six and seven. With their backs against the wall in Game 7, Worth stepped up big with a huge triple double line of 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists. Worthy would be awarded the Finals MVP for his play in the series.
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