HoopsHype Tex Winter rumors

August 12, 2011 Updates

Other than an inauspicious stint as the Houston Rockets head coach from 1972-74, Winter's entire body of NBA work came as an assistant. Now, a quarter century after Jerry Krause hired Winter to serve as Jackson's right-hand man and teach Jordan the triangle, nearly every NBA head coach has an offensive or defensive guru at his side. "He was an assistant, but he was a very high-profile assistant," Chris Winter said. "He didn't do interviews with the press and he didn't write books. He did clinics and stuff, and they sort of made him keep quiet about their strategies, but he really changed the way people think about assistant coaches in basketball. All of these coaches started bringing in these graybeards or just people who knew more about coaching than they did and started listening to them." CBSSports.com

Finally, Winter, the architect of the triangle offense, goes into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this week as a contributor to the game. He’s 89 years old, failing and unable to give his own acceptance speech on Friday night. Nevertheless, Winter did express to Krause one wish for enshrinement weekend. 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.” Yahoo! Sports

As soon as Krause was hired as general manager in 1985, he hired Winter as an assistant coach. He wanted him to work with his big men, because he knew that Jordan would make it impossible for them to ever draft high enough to get the good ones. Someday, too, Krause thought the triangle could be transcendent in the NBA. He hired Jackson out of the Continental Basketball Association as an assistant to Doug Collins, when Jackson feared he could be driving team vans back and forth to Maine forever. “No one wanted to hire him,” Krause said. “He would’ve gone home and been a lawyer in North Dakota.” Yahoo! Sports

“Who was the easiest guy to blame? The short, fat guy,” Krause said. “He negotiated the contracts. He’s easy to blame. It happened, we were winning, and I didn’t give a damn. Was it fun? No, it wasn’t fun. But I understood what he was doing. I also know where his ego went, but as time passed, I learned a lot more about him, a lot that I didn’t realize, and, oh boy, did that make me never want to talk to him again.” Yahoo! Sports

“Michael has criticized me a lot through the years, and I’m sure that’s contributed a lot to [his perception]. Anything Michael says, it’s like it’s coming from god. He didn’t help. But I’ll tell you this: If I hadn’t said no to Michael when I did, we might not have ever won. He might have had a wrecked career. “I think Michael probably thinks differently now, although maybe his ego won’t let him.” Yahoo! Sports

August 11, 2011 Updates
July 30, 2011 Updates

Phil Jackson might be done with basketball, but it’s not done with him. Jackson will have a busy Aug. 12 in Springfield, Mass., serving as the presenter for two people close to him as they are inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in the same class: Tex Winter and Dennis Rodman. Rodman, who played for Jackson in Chicago, has joined Winter in asking Jackson to be his presenter, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Langlois notes it likely would’ve been Rodman’s Detroit coach, Chuck Daly, if Daly hadn’t died two years ago. Orange County Register

July 21, 2011 Updates

A little more than two years since suffering a stroke while a consultant with the Lakers, Winter is "doing fine," said one of his three sons, Chris Winter. "He sleeps a lot, but he's pretty healthy at this point." Tex has moved out of the nursing home and is living with another son, Brian, in Manhattan, Kan. The man credited with being the modern-day architect of the triangle offense is able to put together only a few words at a time, though, so he will have someone else deliver the acceptance speech. He may not be able to attend every activity with the other enshrinees. But he won't be overlooked again. He'll be embraced. "I think it's a good thing," Chris Winter said. "I think part of the reason he's gotten in is the public has kind of spoken. I don't know who's on the committee or who was on the committee 30 years ago. But he has quite a career. I think the committee decided, 'We're backed into a corner here because he's so popular.' "A lot of people think he should have gotten this 30 years ago. But he didn't. I think he kind of lost interest in this for a while. People kept pushing. They kept nominating him. They said to us at the Hall when they gave us the call (with new of the election), 'The cream sort of rises to the top.' I think he's happy about it." NBA.com

April 4, 2011 Updates

Q: What have you learned from him more than anything else? Jackson: How to develop an offense from skill drills is probably best thing that Tex taught. That basketball starts with being able to learn how to pick up the basketball and pivot. From there, you move into passing, and then the other things that become more complicated. But you have to start from very basic beginning with basketball. ESPN.com

Jackson: For the past 15 years there have been people telling me that Tex is going in the Hall of Fame. When Tex was verbally and cognizantly capable of receiving this award, I would have been much happier. The fact now that he’s had a stroke that’s impaired his capabilities, it kind of irritates me a little bit that this wasn’t done 10 years ago when he was still serving basketball at such a great capacity. Still, in all, I’m happy that it’s been awarded. ESPN.com

Q: You mentioned he was honest and direct with you. What was the value in Tex having that approach with players, too? Jackson: We used to say there wasn't much of a governor on Tex. He just spoke what his mind impulsively told him to say and it was like the mind of the basketball gods. If you played against the rules of the game, he was going to comment to you or comment to me in hopes that I would comment to the players later on. He got frustrated with players at times -- a Michael Jordan who he said couldn't pass the ball right, or [Shaquille O'Neal] who wouldn't take coaching very easily, or Kobe who over-penetrated or handled the ball too long so the offense didn't run right. So, every star that I ever had on a team, except Scottie Pippen, basically he had trouble with parts of their game. ESPN.com

Coaches Tex Winter, innovator of the "Triangle" offense, Stanford's Tara VanDerveer and Philadelphia University's Herb Magee are part of the class announced Monday at the Final Four in Houston. Longtime NBA and ABA star Artis Gilmore, former Portland TrailBlazers center Arvydas Sabonis and Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards also will be inducted. They are joined by Harlem Globetrotter Reece "Goose" Tatum and Boston Celtic Tom "Satch" Sanders. ESPN.com

After seven years of rejection by the Basketball Hall of Fame, former Bulls assistant Tex Winter, 89, finally will get in. So will Dennis Rodman. And sources say Chicago native and 76ers great Maurice Cheeks also will be inducted Aug. 12 in Springfield, Mass. “It’s been a long time coming, and it’s well deserved,” Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said. “Not only because of the tremendous impact he had on the NBA and the championships he helped win, but because he also had a great college coaching career. It’s just sad that it didn’t happen when he could really enjoy it.” Chicago Sun-Times

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