Press play to listen to the full interview with Gary Vitti and Scoop B Radio.
The Chicago was the team of the decade in the 1990s. The Bulls won 6 out of ten champions including two three-peats. Playing Western Conference teams such as Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Seattle Sonics and the Utah Jazz (back to back). Michael won six straight Finals MVPs and went undefeated in the process.
Well, according to ex Los Angeles Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti, who was the lead physician with the team during 32 seasons, thinks the Bulls “didn’t play anybody,” in the NBA Finals, Gary Vitti told Scoop B Radio.
“I love Michael and respect him, but I am not sure Michael changed the game as much as the game changed, which allowed Michael to be Michael,” said Gary Vitti.
The 32-year veteran had the opportunity to make 12 Finals trips with the Los Angeles Lakers. Vitti joined the Lakers back in 1984 under head coach Pat Riley.
Throughout his time in Los Angeles Vitti worked with players such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Shaq, and Kobe Bryant.
Vitti weighted in on the narrative that Michael Jordan is the Greatest Of All Time:
“So when Michael got his first ring in ‘91 and the 5 that came after it, there wasn’t anybody left,” said Vitti.
“The Lakers were done because Kareem had retired and then Magic [Johnson] came up 0 positive for HIV in ‘91. So he wasn’t challenged again by the great Laker team, the ones that because Kareem had already retired before ‘91, so he wasn’t part of that series against I don’t know what they would have done.”
“They had Luke Longley, they had Bill Levingston; I mean what were they going to do with Kareem? So he didn’t play the Lakers, the Celtics got old very very fast. Bird, Parish, and McHale all got old at the same time, so the Celtics were done.”
So, what is Vitti implying?
“There was no challenge there and the Pistons were done, so basically when you really look at the six rings that the Bulls won, they didn’t play anybody,” said Vitti.
“They didn’t play any of the championship caliber teams of the 80s like the Lakers, the Sixers, the Celtics, and the Pistons. All four of those teams had basically had their run and it was over and so it’s not taking anything away from him because he did what he was supposed to do. He dominated, but the game wasn’t the same game, it was different.”
I recently had the opportunity to speak with former Bulls member and current head coach of the Golden State Warriors Steve Kerr. I asked Kerr what was his thoughts on Vitti’s comment regarding the 90s Bulls.
“ I just wonder if Gary Vitti was equipped to handle that many injuries during his time. I question his ability to tape ankles. I think Gary was always overrated and when you compare Gary to some of the other trainers and medical staff. He just didn’t have to deal with the adversity that the trainers have to deal with today, Kerr told me.