After Being Released From Prison, James Worthy Raced To The Arena & Made It Just In Time For The 2nd Quarter

Photo Credit: Mike Powell / Getty Images

After Being Released From Prison, James Worthy Raced To The Arena & Made It Just In Time For The 2nd Quarter


November 15, 1990. The Los Angeles Lakers played the Houston Rockets in Houston, but Lakers star James Worthy was nowhere to be found in the arena, before tip-off. Many of his Los Angeles Lakers teammates did not know where Worthy was, until it turned out, that he was arrested earlier that day, on two counts of solicitation of prostitution and was jailed. Sargent Ross Gonzales, from the Houston Police Department, shared some details:


“At approximately 2:30 or 3 o’clock, James Worthy was arrested by undercover vice officers on two counts of solicitation of prostitution. Our understanding is that he contacted an escort service that we monitor. Two of our vice officers responded to the request he made. He arranged a transaction, at which time they made an arrest.”


Bail was set at $500, and after posting it, Worthy was released. He rushed to the arena and made it back just in time for the second quarter, to the surprise of his team.

The Lakers thought he’d fly back to Los Angeles, instead of just racing to the Arena. But since he was there, the Lakers obviously played their star. Worthy ran onto the court with 11:23 to play in the 2nd quarter, and the crowd cheered loudly. After the game, Worthy’s teammate Magic Johnson told the media:


“I heard the crowd, we all looked. There he was. It was beautiful. It was great of them to give him that ovation. That meant a lot. Whatever happened, we’re not concerned with. He’s here. He played. He showed us a lot. He showed how much he cares about us. Everybody makes a mistake in their life but, hey, he’s our boy. I still love him, no matter what he did. I just hope everybody can forget it and rally behind him like this crowd.”


After initially not talking to members of the media, Worthy changed his mind and told the Los Angeles Times:


“They’re the guys I’m with the most. They’re the guys who know me best. Any signs like that–I kinda expected it. These are my friends and . . . it happened. I didn’t want to run away from the situation. I wanted to run to it and play. The best place for me tonight was here.”


The Lakers beat the Rockets 108 to 104, and James Worthy scored 24 points. Being in jail during tipoff, posting bail and being released in time for the 2nd quarter, racing to the arena, playing an NBA game, finishing the game with 24 points, and taking home the victory, sounds like one helluva night…

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