Tex Win­ter, 96; in­no­va­tive bas­ket­ball coach

Pawtucket Times - - REGION/OBITUARIES -

MAN­HAT­TAN, Kan. (AP) — Tex Win­ter, the in­no­va­tive "Tri­an­gle Of­fense" pi­o­neer who as­sisted Phil Jack­son on NBA cham­pi­onship teams with the Chicago Bulls and Los An­ge­les Lak­ers, has died. He was 96.

Win­ter's fam­ily said he died Wed­nes­day in Man­hat­tan, where he be­gan his coach­ing ca­reer at Kansas State in 1947 and led the Wild­cats to two Fi­nal Fours and eight Big Seven/Eight ti­tles as head coach from 1954-68.

"I learned so much from Coach Win­ter. He was a pi­o­neer and a true stu­dent of the game," Michael Jor­dan said in a state­ment emailed to the Chicago Tri­bune. "His tri­an­gle of­fense was a huge part of our six cham­pi­onships with the Bulls. He was a tire­less worker. Tex was al­ways fo­cused on de­tails and prepa­ra­tion and a great teacher. I was lucky to play for him. My con­do­lences to his fam­ily."

Former Lak­ers star Kobe Bryant called Win­ter a bas­ket­ball ge­nius "in ev­ery sense of the word."

"My men­tor. I sat with Tex & watched ev­ery minute of ev­ery game dur­ing our 1st sea­son to­gether. He taught me how to study ev­ery de­tail," Bryant posted on Twit­ter.

Win­ter pub­lished "The Triple-Post Of­fense" in 1962 and teamed with Jack­son to use the sys­tem to great suc­cess with Jor­dan and Bryant.

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