By: Ben Golliver
Assistant coach is, without a doubt, one of the least glamorous and recognized positions in the NBA world. The best assistants toil for years — if not decades — for the chance to spread their wings and run their own ship.
Not Tex Winter though. After coaching in college and briefly in the pros, Winter settled into the role that he’s best known for: Phil Jackson’s triangle offense guru. Winter served as Jackson’s assistant coach in Chicago for all six of Michael Jordan’s Bulls’ titles and then went to Los Angeles to accumulate even more bling with the Lakers.
On Saturday, the Chicago Tribune reports that Winter has been recognized for all of that winning. After a coaching career that spanned six decades, Winter will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of its Class of 2011.
Winter, who popularized the use of the triangle offense in the NBA, served as Phil Jackson’s assistant on all six Bulls championship teams. Winter won’t be able to travel to Houston for Monday’s announcement, the source said, because of the stroke he suffered two years ago.
But Winter is pleased to finally gain induction after several times as a finalist, according to the source. The induction ceremony is in August.
The triangle — or “Triple Post” as he originally called it in his 1968 book — has been credited with providing the framework for superstar players to succeed in the team concept, by highlighting the importance of ball movement, man movement and spacing.
One of Winter’s former players — Dennis Rodman — is also reportedly set to be a member of the 2011 Hall of Fame class.