“Magic Johnson Picked Me Up in a Deuce & a Quarter”: James Worthy Got a $50,000 Ride Around Michigan From 1979 #1 Pick While Choosing College

Akash Murty
|Published 16/12/2022

For an NBA player, it must be an unforgettable experience when you meet a legend of the game. Even after you become one yourself when it’s all said and done, meeting the likes of Earvin Magic Johnson for the first can never fade away.

In fact, it must be impossible to forget. Not even when you have had several tremendous moments with the man on the greatest basketball stage. Not when you win 3 championships and many other accolades in a glorious 12-year NBA career.

And not even when it’s been close to 44 years since it happened. James Worthy clearly remembers the day he met his future teammate while he was visiting colleges in 1979.

Also read: You’re Special, Magic Johnson”: $620 Million Worth Lakers Star’s High School Coach Predicted Larry Bird Becoming His Rival

James Worthy reminisces about when he first met Magic Johnson

Worthy was one of the core members of the Showtime Lakers who were one of the two best teams in the NBA in the mid-80s. But years before they actually got their hands on Worthy, a 20-year-old Magic, the face of their franchise, was already making a connection with the 6ft 9” forward who was the top recruit for colleges in 1979.

In a recent appearance on the Knuckleheads Podcast, ‘Big Game James’ joined Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles and reminisced how Johnson, who was going to be the #1 pick of the draft and go to LA, came to pick him on a Deuce and a Quarter (a $25-50,000 Electra 225).

Magic wanted Worthy to play for Michigan State and came down himself to show him around. Which was obviously his way to tell the future #1 pick that both of them will play together in the NBA in a few years.

Also read: “I Could’ve Been Making Over $5 Billion, Right Now!”: Magic Johnson Explains Horrible Dealing With Nike He Regrets to This Day

How Worthy became one of the pillars of ‘Showtime Lakers’

Although James ended up choosing North Carolina over Johnson’s former school, the 1982 NCAA champ and that tournament’s most outstanding player (over MJ) did team up with the then Lakers MVP and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, coming in as the 1st overall pick in 1982.

As soon as they acquired Worthy, the Lakers became a formidable team in the league, and made it to four NBA Finals in 6 years, winning 3 of them. That too against Larry Bird’s Celtics (twice) and Isiah Thomas led Bad Boys Pistons.

Even though he retired early, Worthy made the most of it and was honored with the NBA Hall of Fame and also a place in Basketball’s Greatest 50 players of all-time.

Also read: “Not a Representation Larry Bird Wanted”: When an Indianapolis Artist Drew Tattooed Larry Legend Mural and Got a Notice



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About the author
Akash Murty

Akash Murty

An Electrical and Electronics Engineer by degree, Akash Murty is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. Previously a Software Engineer, Murty couldn’t keep himself away from sports, and his knack for writing and putting his opinion forward brought him to the TSR. A big Soccer enthusiast, his interest in basketball developed late, as he got access to a hoop for the first time at 17. Following this, he started watching basketball at the 2012 Olympics, which transitioned to NBA, and he became a fan of the game as he watched LeBron James dominate the league. Him being an avid learner of the game and ritually following the league for around a decade, he now writes articles ranging from throwbacks, and live game reports, to gossip. LA Lakers are his favourite basketball team, while Chelsea has his heart in football. He also likes travelling, reading fiction, and sometimes cooking.

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