Marco Nuñez will have a key role in keeping the Lakers healthy and performing at peak levels in 2018-19.

Marco Nuñez will have a key role in keeping the Lakers healthy and performing at peak levels in 2018-19.

Ty Nowell/Lakers.com

With the NBA releasing the schedule for the upcoming season, Los Angeles Lakers fans can begin to look forward to what should be a promising year at Staples Center. 

Part of ensuring that promise is good health, and the head athletic trainer for every NBA franchise is often a forgotten–yet key–component to a team’s success. With 82 games and endless travel, the trainer must help keep the players healthy, and the Lakers have entrusted that role to Marco Nuñez.

Nuñez originally took over the role in 2016, after spending eight years as an assistant athletic trainer. Nuñez learned under the best, as he replaced his mentor, Gary Vitti, who operated as the Lakers’ head trainer for 32 years.

The Lakers will look to Nuñez to work in tandem with the coaches and front office to help ensure peak performance on the court. No stranger to training in LA, he will inherit a roster full of new players–both young and experienced.

“The main thing is working with the players and learning the athletes: their demeanors, behaviors, nuances — whatever makes them tick in a sense,” Nuñez told the Lakers’ website. “Every player’s completely different. You can’t take the same approach with one player that you do with another.”

The Lakers have also tasked Nuñez with year-round maintenance of the roster. He will play a key role in helping to keep young players, such as Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, on the court as the team looks to return to the top of the Western Conference standings.

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