Gary Vitti: Decisions Lakers Have Made Makes It ‘Hard’ To Root For Them
Gary Vitti, Lakers

While the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to make the 2024 NBA Finals, anyone who has ever been connected to the franchise undoubtedly has a rooting interest. Former players, coaches, staff and fans are all rooting fiercely against the Boston Celtics and that includes former longtime trainer Gary Vitti.

Vitti was the head trainer of the Lakers for more than 30 years and thus has developed the same hatred for the Celtics as everyone else involved with the franchise. He was also very close with the late Jerry West who, unfortunately, had become distanced from the Lakers over the past while which has been brought up with his recent passing.

And Vitti recently admitted that the decisions the Lakers have made recently, and the issues between the franchise and West, has made it difficult to root for him, though he still would never root for the Celtics, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Longtime Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti, who worked for the team from 1984-2016, told ESPN “everything is so raw with me right now” considering how L.A. distanced itself from West and other former franchise figures in recent years.

“The decisions that they’ve made, it makes it really hard to root for the Lakers. Not impossible. But it’s hard. Because you’re torn. Because there’s people that you love that were hurt,” Vitti said.

“But it is impossible to root for the Celtics. … If you have any purple and gold in your blood running through your veins, it’d be literally impossible to ever root for the Celtics. And I’m sure they feel the same way about us.”

Vitti added: “I’m team Jerry West. And no matter how things ended up with Jerry and the Lakers, if he were still alive who would never want the Celtics to win another championship. And I feel the same way.”

West is one of the greatest members the Lakers organization has ever seen, helping bring the franchise championships both as a player and an executive that helped build the ‘Showtime’ dynasty in the 1980s, as well as signing Shaquille O’Neal and trading for Kobe Bryant in 1996. That the two sides were not on great terms is a truly unfortunate situation and one that many wished could have been solved before West’s death.

Vitti made it clear that he was aligned with West and hated to see his close friend hurt by everything that went down. But through everything, there will always be a love for the Lakers, and a hatred for the Celtics.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pays tribute to fellow Lakers legend Jerry West

Many all-time greats offered condolences and paid their respects following the passing of legendary Lakers guard, coach and executive Jerry West. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one of the most eloquent athletes of all-time, did the same as well.

He took to social media, saying West embodied everything that people admire in their favorite athletes both on and off the court. Kareem added that he feels a little smaller with West no longer with him and offered his deepest condolences to the West family.

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