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Lakers Name New Athletic Trainer

After 32 years, the Los Angeles Lakers named a new Athletic Trainer

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    Lakers Name New Athletic Trainer
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    After 32 years, team trainer Gary Vitti is leaving the Los Angeles Lakers. In this file photo, Vitti attends to Kobe Bryant during the 2009 NBA Finals on June 14, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    After 32 years, the Los Angeles Lakers will have a new Athletic Trainer on the sidelines, but he's a familiar face.

    Marco Nuñez originally took over as Assistant Athletic Trainer with the Lakers for the 2008-09 season, and after seven years working under Gary Vitti, Nuñez ascends to the title of Head Athletic Trainer.

    Replacing Nuñez, the Lakers also announced Nina Hsieh had been promoted to the role of Assistant Athletic trainer. Hsieh previously served as the Head Athletic trainer for the LA D-Fenders, the Lakers' D-League affiliate.

    Prior to Nuñez joining the Lakers' staff in 2008, he served two seasons with the LA D-Fenders for two season as the Head Athletic Trainer and also served in the same role for the LA Sparks 2005-06 season.

    Vitti, who has been a staple on the Lakers' sidelines for over three decades, retired after the 2015-16 season, but his replacement is a capable and familiar face inside the locker room and in the trainer's room.

    The Lakers also announced the extension of Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim DiFrancesco, who has the nickname of "Grass Fed Tim." DiFrancesco presided over the Lakers' revolution of eating clean and changed the dietary culture of the locker room in recent years.

    All three of the staff members have extensive experience in their fields, so the announcement comes with little surprise. The Lakers announced that Nuñez will expand his duties to include working with the training staff, coaching staff and front office.

    In recent years, Vitti had taken on the responsibility of using analytics to better track players' performance in practice and in games. Nuñez will likely have similar responsibilities under new Head Coach Luke Walton.

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