Former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Fred “Tex” Winter died on Wednesday at the age of 96, the Bulls organization has confirmed. Winter is best known for being considered the architect of the famed “triangle offense,” which led both the Bulls and Lakers to multiple championships under head coach Phil Jackson.

Bulls executive vice president John Paxson issued the following statement on the Bulls’ behalf:

“Tex Winter was a basketball legend and perhaps the finest fundamental teacher in the history of our game.  He was an innovator who had high standards for how basketball should be played and approached everyday.  Those of us who were lucky enough to play for him will always respect his devotion to the game of basketball.  His contributions to the Bulls organization will always be remembered.”

The Chicago Sun-Times listed the highlights of Winter’s accomplished career:

Winter was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, and did so with a trophy case full of hardware, winning nine NBA championships during his tenure with the Bulls and then the Lakers.  

Hired by the Houston Rockets as their head coach in 1971, Winter was in and out of the league for the next 20-plus years, with coaching stints at Northwestern and Long Beach State.

He was all set to retire prior to the 1985 season, but then-Bulls general manager Jerry Krause talked him into joining the coaching staff as an assistant, and bringing along his triangle offense.

After hearing the news, members of the basketball community offered their memories and condolences.


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