March 10, 2013 |
Gary Vitti has seen a lot in his 29 years as the Lakers' athletic trainer. This is his most trying season yet. He has felt the weight of the team's struggles, the Lakers standing at 32-31 and tied with Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference despite meteoric expectations. He also experienced the strain in the trainer's room, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash missing a total of 51 games because of injuries, not to mention major hip surgery for Jordan Hill and Steve Blake's 37-game absence because of abdominal and groin issues.
May 12, 2012 |
Mike Bresnahan covers the Lakers for The Times and ties up loose ends before all their playoff games. The Lakers are tied with the Denver Nuggets, 3-3, heading into Saturday night's game. Yeah, Kobe Bryant is 4-1 in Game 7s in his career. Beat Portland in 2000, Sacramento in 2002, Houston in 2009 and Boston in 2010. Whatever. More impressive is the record of longtime Lakers trainer Gary Vitti. He's 7-1 in Game 7s. Start with Kobe's 4-1 mark and tack on Game 7 victories against Utah, Dallas and Detroit - all in 1988.
February 23, 2010 |
Gary Vitti eased his way into a hat store in Cleveland on a recent Lakers trip in search of a lid for his bald head, when the door quickly opened and a man burst in. "Hey, you're Gary Vitti, the Lakers' trainer," the man blurted out. "You're the man! You're more important than the coach." Vitti rubbed his head and laughed at what he had just heard. "No, man," Vitti said, smiling, "no way." When this story was shared with Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, he cracked a smile and laughed.
April 18, 2004 |
Gary Vitti walked into Staples Center three hours before game time Saturday, the Laker trainer smiling at his task, five players on the 12-man roster requiring near round-the-clock service. "This is the first game?" he said, laughing. "It feels like Game 7." Vitti and his medical staff put Karl Malone, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, Devean George and Kareem Rush back together again in the time between Wednesday's game at Portland and Saturday's against the Houston Rockets.
November 12, 1997 |
Barring catastrophic injury, A.C. Green on Nov. 20 will play his 907th consecutive game, breaking the NBA record held by Randy Smith. And Gary Vitti will smile. "I will have a soft spot in my heart that night," Vitti said. "Just say, 'Yeah, A.C.' " Green spent his first eight seasons with the Lakers before leaving as a free agent in the summer of 1993 to sign with the Phoenix Suns.
December 10, 1992 |
Laker trainer Gary Vitti said Wednesday he would welcome an OSHA investigation of his treatment of Magic Johnson and expects to be exonerated. Vitti did not use gloves to treat a scratch to Johnson's forearm, in what turned out to be Johnson's last appearance, at Chapel Hill, N.C., on Oct. 30. Vitti says a Rhode Island doctor filed a protest to the Federal office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which may refer it to the California office.