The Los Angeles Lakers will not bring back their head athletic trainer after an injury-riddled 2020-21 season and will revamp their strategies for player health, ESPN reported Saturday.
The team did not renew the contract of Nina Hsieh, who took over as head trainer two summers ago. Hsieh had been with the organization for more than 10 years before assuming the top job in August 2019.
When the Lakers won the 2019-20 NBA title, she became the first female head athletic trainer in professional sports history of a championship-winning team in the U.S.
The Lakers finished the season with a 42-30 record and in seventh place in the Western Conference, forced to earn their way to the postseason through the play-in tournament. The Phoenix Suns beat the Lakers in six games in the first round of the playoffs.
Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis missed a significant portion of the 72-game season with injuries. James played in just 45 games because of a high right ankle sprain, and Davis’ right calf strain kept him out of half of the reqular season.
The Lakers also parted ways with Hsieh’s predecessor, Marco Nunez, after three years in April 2019. He succeeded Gary Vitti, who had been a fixture on the Los Angeles bench since 1984 until his 2016 retirement.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.