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WORTHY AFTER GETTING CAUGHT WITH AN ESCORT: “I didn't want to run away from the situation. I wanted to run to it and play”

Perhaps the most notorious highlight of James Worthy's career came in 1990, when he was arrested by two undercover officers.
James Worthy with the Los Angeles Lakers

James Worthy with the Los Angeles Lakers

With the amount of money NBA players make and how famous they are all around the world, it doesn’t seem like they would ever need to pay for some female company. However, there have been many instances where NBA players got caught up in scandals, including prostitutes, and this is the story about how James Worthy became a part of one.

The infamous arrest of James Worthy

During a Lakers’ 1990 road trip game vs. the Houston Rockets, James Worthy was nowhere to be found at the start of the game. As it turned out, Worthy was arrested by two undercover officers for solicitation of prostitution. James contacted an escort service that was monitored by the police. They arranged the transaction, which ended with Worthy’s arrest at the Houston Hotel. He was taken in during the afternoon and was able to make it to the game vs. the Rockets, after being released on 500$ bail.

Even his teammates didn’t know were Worthy was, and there was speculation among Lakers officials that he would fly home instead of playing the game that night. Worthy ultimately joined his teammates in their clash vs. the Rockets, running onto the court with at the start of the second quarter and receiving a huge ovation from the crowd.

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“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 it. 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.”

Magic Johnson, via LA Times

Worthy initially didn’t want to comment on the whole situation but gave his insight on the entire situation, later on, saying that he didn’t want to run from what happened, and he wasn’t going to let that stopping him in helping his teammates get the win.

Worthy accepted responsibility for the situation

“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.”

James Worthy, via LA Times

The Lakers won the game, and Worthy scored 24 points. It was a helluva day for him, getting arrested, getting out on bail, and rushing to the game where he gave a significant contribution in his team’s win. Quite a story for Worthy, who, after that, wasn’t involved in any public incident of the same sort (or at least wasn't caught).

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