Skip to main content

Gary Vitti believes Jordan faced weak competition on his way to six championships

Gary Vitti & Michael Jordan

Gary Vitti – ex-Lakers athletic trainer – offered a different perspective on Michael Jordan’s path towards six NBA championships

Gary Vitti – ex-Lakers athletic trainer – offered a different perspective on Michael Jordan’s path towards six NBA championships. Friendly warning: some of you won’t like it.

Michael played against weaker competition?

Vitti started a segment off by saying this: “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.” According to Gary, MJ’s dominance during the 90s was purely situational. It wasn’t about his greatness but a series of events that allowed Jordan and the Bulls to thrive.

"When Michael got his first ring in ’91 and the five that came after it, there wasn’t anybody left. The Lakers were done because Kareem had retired, and then Magic came up 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 Bill Cartwright, and they had Cliff Levingston; I mean, what were they going to do with Kareem?"

Gary Vitti, Scoop B Radio

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Things were easier for him in the 90s

The NBA had four outstanding teams in the second part of the ’80s – the Celtics, Lakers, Sixers, Pistons. According to Vitti, the teams Jordan faced in the finals were good — not superteams, though. The game changed, and Jordan took full advantage of that, but he never faced the real competition that preceded him.

"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. 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, 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."

Gary Vitti, via Scoop B Radio

Even though many fans wouldn’t agree with this statement, there is some truth to what Vitti is saying. The league’s expansion in the late ’80s and throughout the mid-’90s depleted some of the talent teams possessed. During Jordan’s first three-peat, you could definitely say they faced some genuinely great teams that challenged them during their championship run. Things might have been a bit easier in their second three-peat, but it doesn’t diminish everything Jordan and the Bulls did during that period.

Kristaps Porzingis & Luka Doncic

Kristaps Porzingis opens up about his failed partnership with Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks - “I just wasn’t the right guy”

When asked about his failed stint with the Mavs, Porzingis admitted that he and Luka Doncic were not a strong fit on the court together

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing

"I'm here and I plan to finish my career here" — when Patrick Ewing left the New York Knicks for the Seattle Supersonics

Patrick Ewing hinted at how things played out with him and the Knicks that prompted him to leave the team in 2000.

michael-jordan-luc-longley-min (1)

Luc Longley on Michael Jordan’s only condition to end the Chicago Bulls’ practice sessions

Luc Longley gave us a peek into Michael Jordan's obsession with competition and winning.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas

“You're not given a real chance” — Isaiah Thomas breaks down 10-day contracts in the NBA

Former Boston Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas opens up about the reality of 10-day contracts in the NBA.

Charlotte Hornets guard Tony Parker

Almost lifers — stars who played their entire career for a single NBA franchise until their last season

As it turns out, all five guys probably would've been better off just retiring as icons of their original teams.

Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade

“Being able to stay out to 5AM and still score 40” — Dwyane Wade on his favorite memory from the 2006 Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade still couldn't help but be elated whenever he looked back at his 2006 run with the Miami Heat.

Sacramento Kings guards Mike Bibby and Jason Williams

“They were both awesome in their way for our team” — Ex-Sacramento Kings center Scot Pollard compares Mike Bibby and Jason Williams

Former Sacramento Kings center Scot Pollard was asked to appoint the better point guard between Jason Williams and Mike Bibby.