Triangle architect Tex Winter dies at 96

AP Photo/Stephan Savoia

Several years ago, there was a push to get Tex Winter into the Hall of Fame with the undertone that it should happen before it’s too late. Winter made it in 2011, a joyous moment for the former Bulls and Lakers assistant coach.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Former Bulls coach Fred “Tex’’ Winter, who was considered the architect of the famed triangle offense, died Wednesday, the organization confirmed.

“On behalf of the entire Lakers organization, I’d like to express our sadness at the passing of Tex Winter,” said Lakers controlling wwner Jeanie Buss. “Tex helped lead the team to four NBA Championships and was a mentor to many of our coaches and players. In addition to his numerous contributions to the game of basketball, Tex was a wonderful man and he will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Winter family.”

Winter won nine titles as an assistant coach, working under Phil Jackson with the Bulls then Lakers. There’s a case for Winter as the greatest assistant coach of all-time.

Maybe it’s not that hard to win with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. But we’ll never know how those teams would have fared without Winter’s triangle offense. We know they won big with it, and that’s what counts.