Gary Vitti is a more familiar courtside face to true Lakers fans than even Jack Nicholson’s sunglassed visage. Vitti has been the Lakers trainer for 32 years. That’s the other rare quality that Garry Vitti has in common with Jack Nicholson; very few people last three decades in Hollywood. Vitti has trained Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Michael Cooper, Byron Scott, Shaquille O’Neal, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher and the ultimate athlete, competitor and training fanatic — Kobe Bryant.
Now Vitti says next season, Kobe Bryant’s last, will also be his final campaign getting the purple and gold physically ready night after night. Vitti is retiring along with Kobe. Vitti and Bryant have great trust in one another — evidenced by an episode where a “gentleman’s agreement” between them let Bryant shoot his last two free throws of the 2012-13, after tearing his Achilles. Vitti’s final season will be a brilliant one, if it includes a healthy Kobe Bryant for his final season. Good Bryant health will send off two consummate Lakers — Vitti and Bryant — into a happy sunset. Another season-ending Bryant injury will play more like Sunset Boulevard in Lakerland.