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Gary Vitti: Lakers trainer, travel agent

Feb 24, 2010, 9:21 AM EDT

When Magic Johnson twisted an ankle on the court, Gary Vitti was there to help him. For the past 26 years, Vitti has been the team trainer and has helped every Laker player. Even Smush Parker.

That’s a full time job, right? Heading a five-person training staff, dealing with team doctors and management, working with the players to keep them well through the grind of a season. What more can you want from the guy?

Vitti also handles the Lakers’ travel arrangements, making sure their chartered flights and hotels are booked and that they have practice sites on the road.

What? He’s the team travel coordinator, too? That’s another full time job, especially on road trips. He’s not only got to worry about taping Kobe’s ankle, he’s got to worry about his luggage getting to Dallas on time? And it’s not like trainer and travel coordinator have overlapping skill sets — these are two totally different jobs.

Apparently, Vitti is the one medical professional in America who thinks sleep is overrated. Weird, weird mix of jobs. But if he’s been doing it for 26 years and has a collection of diamond-encrusted championship rings, what are you going to say to the guy?

  1. Robert Tidwell - Sep 14, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Hi Gary,
    My name is Robert Tidwell with Advanced Rehab Technologies. My company fabricates custom silicone prosthesis. We are working on the fabrication of a new custom silicone finger splint for athletes. These splints will made to prevent injury as well as to wear to protect the injured finger during play. The advantage our splint for a basketball player is that our splint will give stability to the joints while still allowing then finger to bend. It will also leave the finger pads exposed allowing the player to still feel the ball coming out of his hand when shooting, dribbling, or passing the ball.
    We would like to try some of our prototype designs on some of your players. They will be custom made to each players specific injury and finger size. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.
    Robert Tidwell
    Advanced Rehab Tech

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