Apr 2, 2011, 9:49 PM EDT
It just seems fitting: Tex Winter, the brains behind the offense that helped win the Chicago Bulls multiple titles, will enter the Hall of Fame with Dennis Rodman, the man who did the dirty work for several of those titles.
Winter, the architect of the triangle offense that won the Bulls six titles and the Lakers five more, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this fall, according to the Associated Press.
The common perception is Winter as the guy behind the curtain pulling the strings during Phil Jackson’s titles, which has some truth to it, but that simplifies who he really is. Winter was a top college coach — he was the head coach at Marquette University, then at Kansas State for 15 years where his teams were 261-118 (.689) and went to two Final Fours (1958 and 1964). He was UPI National Coach of the Year in 1958. He also coached at Long Beach State among other stops.
In 1962, Winter also wrote “The Triple-Post Offense,” a book about what has become known as the triangle offense. It is a more complex offense than even Phil Jackson has been known to run, one that includes taking advantage of what the defense gives you via spacing and recognition. It’s a thinking man’s offense.
Winter is best recognized as Jackson’s assistant but he also was his consiousnce in the media — saying publically what Jackson could not say. By the end he was a guru.
Winter’s offense was something used thoughout the sport — not just in the NBA but in women’s basketball, the college game and beyond. He is a pioneer of the sport.
And he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.