NBA legendary coach Tex Winter dies aged 96

After a career spanning 60 years and 9 NBA Championships Tex Winter secured his place in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Winter pioneered the triangle offense that helped the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers win multiple NBA championships.

Winter at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

As head coach of 5 college teams Winters amassed a record of 453 – 334. The Houston Rockets opened the door to Winters’ NBA career with a two year stint as head coach, 1971–1973, posting a 51–78 (.395) record. 

It was Bulls GM, Jerry Krause, who hired Winter in July 1985 as one of his first moves as Bulls general manager, that pushed Winters into national consciousness when, teamed with defensive-minded Johnny Bach, he formed a potent pairing of assistant coaches for both Doug Collins and Phil Jackson.

A noted perfectionist, Winter spent most games scribbling notes to take to the next day’s practice. Bryant recalled a moment attesting to Winter’s zeal for basketball as he felt it should be played.

“After we won our second championship,” Bryant remembered, “he came in here right before we had a parade. We were all sitting around, and he talked about us not making fundamentally correct chest passes. He was serious. We all started laughing, and he couldn’t understand why. That’s just Tex.”

He had been in declining health since suffering a stroke in 2009.  Winter is survived by his wife, Nancy; his sons, Chris, Brian and Russ; and three grandchildren.

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