Where would Phil Jackson be without Tex Winter? Would Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant have won all those titles if it wasn't for the triangle offense?
Those questions alone show why a career assistant coach got the call Monday that he would be part of the 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame class. Actually you could say this is a honor that is far overdue for Tex.
Winter started his coaching career in 1947 after graduating from USC and proceeded to coach for the next 47 years. He started as an assistant at Kansas State before getting his first of many college head coaching jobs. First it was Marquette, where he spent two seasons before returning to Kansas State where he remained head coach for 15 seasons. After KSU he was the head coach for Washington before getting his only NBA head coaching gig with the Rockets.
He then returned to the college ranks serving as the head coach of Northwestern and Long Beach State before getting the job he is best known for with the Chicago Bulls in 1985.
This was the 8th time Tex was a finalist for the hall. Winter won 6 titles with Chicago and another 3 with the Lakers and also was a consultant for the 08-09 Lakers that won the title.
Tex Winter just celebrated his 89th birthday in February and I'm very happy he is still around to enjoy this honor. Hopefully Phil will show up at this induction unlike that past two seasons when Jordan and Pippen were enshrined.