Tag: Tex Winter

Enes Kanter

Turkish head coach sticks up for Enes Kanter

1 Comment

Yesterday we brought you word how a highly-respected, old school Turkish national team assistant coach ripped Enes Kanter as not ready for the NBA. Which would be pretty bad news for the Utah Jazz as they drafted him No. 3 overall back in June.

Today came the rebuttal, with the honors going to Turkey’s first year head coach Orhun Ene.

He put this on the Turkish Federation Web site, the translation is via Hoopshype.

“As the head coach of Turkish National Team I’m not the only one who’s happy about the performance of Enes Kanter’s in the national team. All my assistants, all of the executives, to sum it all everybody is happy with Enes and every one of us strongly believe that he will be very successful both in the NBA and Turkish National Team” said Ene.

“Although he didn’t play for nearly one and a half year he quickly adapted to our team and established a position where he can show his basketball skills. Though he is very young what he can do on the basketball court is unbelievable. I believe that he’ll even be better before Eurobasket 11 in Lithuania starts which is a great news for us.”

I’m not going to pretend to know the dynamics of the Turkish national team coaching staff. But I will add this reminds me a little of how Tex Winter and Phil Jackson used to work — Winter was Jackson’s conscious. Winter could say things publically about Shaquille O’Neal or Kobe Bryant that Jackson could not because Jackson needed to preserve a relationship for motivational reasons. If Tex said Kobe was shooting too much, Jackson could smooth it over and still make sure the message was heard.

Not sure if that is the dynamic here, that’s just what it reminds me of. Jazz fans, go ahead and thing the head coach is spot on if you want.

For Tex Winter, Krause and Jackson put aside feud

tex winter phil jackson

UPDATE 8:02 pm: Tex Winter got his wish — just before the start of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony was about to start Phil Jackson and Jerry Krause shook hands, according to a tweet from K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

The two men there for Tex Winter sat three seats apart from each other and reportedly were cordial.

1:38 pm: Tex Winter — former college coach of the year, triangle offense architect and the right hand man of Phil Jackson — is finally getting his place in the Hall of Fame. A much deserved honor.

It’s a bittersweet moment as a stroke a couple years back has robbed Winter of so much. Friday night when introduced at the Hall of Fame press conference he insisted on speaking but could barely string together a sentence. For anyone who had spoken to the razor sharp Winter before, it was heartbreaking.

But when Jerry Krause — the GM of the Bulls through their heyday — met with Winter earlier this year, Winter was able to express one wish to Kraus, something he wanted on his enshrinement weekend. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo takes it from there.

Winter wants the two men to whom he’s most indebted – Krause and Phil Jackson – to rise above years of acrimony and simply shake hands. It’s been a long time, too long, and Krause will grudgingly do it for a simple reason.

“For Tex, I would jump off a building,” Krause told Yahoo! Sports. “I’ve seen Phil walking down the opposite side of the hallway, and I’ve kept right on going past him. I’ve never stopped. But for Tex, yeah … I’ll do it.”

Krause was a punching bag for Jackson and Michael Jordan, everyone trying to grab shares of credit for the Bulls dynasty years as if it were a zero-sum game. The fact is Krause does deserve credit — he brought those players together. He got Pippen, he brought in Rodman and Kukoc and Paxson and Kerr and all the others that played key roles over the years.

Go read Woj’s entire story, filled with good insight on how those Bulls came together. It’s interesting stuff.

And we hope that Tex Winter can get his wish on the night of his Hall of Fame enshrinement.

Hall of Fame declared “safe zone” for players, management

1 Comment

Starting Aug. 11 and running for three days a number of men and women will receive the highest honor for their contributions to basketball — they will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

It’s a celebration that usually brings former and current players, coaches and other team management all to one place to honor the greats of the game. But with David Stern’s draconian ban on interaction between teams and players — threatening a $1 million fine to teams — how is that going to go down this year?

Without a hitch, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

‘‘We have been declared a ‘safe zone’ in terms of current players interacting with NBA team managers,” Hall of Fame president and CEO John Doleva said in an interview Thursday. ‘‘We’re a separate entity from the NBA anyway. Our program is to always honor basketball at every level and the individuals who make it great.

‘‘So we have not been told there will be any restrictions about [management] and current players interacting or any seating restrictions at our reunion banquet, our pre-enshrinement cocktail and the enshrinement ceremony itself. NBA-TV cameras will be free to interview people, including current players.”

So, sanity.

Among those being inducted this year are Chris Mullin, Dennis Rodman (that should be an interesting speech), Artis Gilmore, Arvydas Sabonis, and coaching legend Tex Winter. Also, Chauncey Billups will be honored for his charity work — and Mike D’Antoni can talk to him without fear of reprisal. Wonder if Billups would prefer the $1 million threat back in that case?

Phil Jackson to present Rodman, Winter into Hall of Fame

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One

Phil Jackson may have walked away from basketball, but he’s still got some duties to perform.

At the Hall of Fame inductions on Aug. 12, Jackson is going to be a busy man. He has been asked to be the presenter for both Tex Winter, his long-time assistant coach, and Dennis Rodman, a former player of Jackson’s with the Bulls.

Rodman rose to prominence at the heart of he “Bad Boy” Pistons, and that team’s coach Chuck Daly might have been Rodman’s first choice if Daly were still with us. But there is a real connection between Jackson and Rodman from the Bulls era as well — Jackson called Rodman the greatest pure athlete he ever coached.

Tex Winter is best remembered as Jackson’s assistant coach and offensive guru, but he had a legendary career before that. He literally wrote the book on the triangle offense, an offense run at all levels of the game. Before that he was a top college coach (he took Kansas State to the Final Four twice and was national coach of the year).

These kinds of moments suit Jackson and his stature in the game. Being on the sidelines does not any more, he didn’t seem to have that same fire last season.

The induction ceremony takes place Aug. 12 in Springfield, Mass., at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Should the Lakers stick with the Triangle offense?

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
Leave a comment

As blasphemous as it may sound, a fellow over at Silver Screen and Roll known only as “Actuarially Sound” thinks it’s time for the Lakers to ditch Tex Winter’s fabled offensive system after they hire their next coach. The article is 3,100 words and includes some nice graphs, so I encourage you to click over instead of expecting me to give it justice here, but here are some of the juicier tidbits:

The Lakers have the personnel to make the Triangle work.  However, the Lakers have very intelligent players and they could use almost any offense that did not depend on an athletic point guard to run the show. The offense chosen should be the one that best maximizes the team’s chances of winning a title and not simply the one they are most familiar with. This leads to Mark’s second point. Jackson won 11 titles using the system, so clearly it works and thus should be continued. It is this second point with which I take issue.  All due respect to the great Tex Winter, I think the Triangle offense is vastly over-rated…

…The offense under Phil Jackson did not improve in any way. The Lakers had the 2nd best offense in the league under Del Harris but that ranking dropped to 4th when Phil arrived with the Triangle. The defense however went from sub-par to the league’s best. It was the defense that changed and led the Lakers to a title. Phil deserves some credit for this, and while the Triangle offense does encourage good floor spacing which could help improve transition defense, it would be a stretch to attribute a change of this magnitude to the offense.

the offense does not create opportunities to score from the two most efficient places on the floor, at the rim and behind the arc, like other offenses do. Most of the Lakers baskets at the rim come from dribble penetration, one-on-one post-ups, or offensive rebounding. The offense does not use any back picks and the only motion to the rim are when the wings enter the ball into the post and then make a token dive towards the rim which is rarely open. It may be surprising to some but the Lakers, despite their enormous size finished 19th in league in shots at the rim this season and 16th last year.

Similarly the offense does not lend itself to many three point attempts. Even though the Lakers are not the best three point shooting team, the extra value of the shot more than offsets the lower field goal percentage. The Lakers finished 17 in three point attempts per game last year. Basically the Triangle offense produces and “average” number of attempts near the basket and “average” number of three point attempts which results in the offense being “average”.

Again, the article is massive and a must-read, so I encourage you to click over and read the whole thing rather than judge it on the 10% of it I’ve posted here. The Lakers have three of the best post players in the league and have had tremendous success with the triangle (or “triple-post”) offense in the past, and the offense does provide some benefits, such as ball control and pace control, that don’t show up in simple offensive efficiency.

And in the playoffs, drive-and-kick play seems to be slightly less effective than it is in the regular season as teams face more defenses capable of loading up the strong side and rotating back to shooters. Still, this is an article that Laker fans should definitely consider as the team’s coaching search goes on this off-season.