Finally, and Not Too Late, for Tex Winter

Several great players were enshrined tonight into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame, including Chris Mullin, Satch Sanders, Artis Gilmore, Arvydas Sabonis, and also some women who 21st century sports bosses actually believe belong in a real sports hall of fame (but that’s another story).

Dennis Rodman and his redemption speech got the most notoriety, but the most deserving new HOFer was 89-year-old coach Tex Winter. His induction was years overdue, but at least came while he was still alive, though he was unable to deliver his own acceptance speech due to the effects of the stroke he suffered a couple of years ago.

He invented the triangle offense while head coach at Kansas St in the 1950s and spent 24 years as Phil Jackson’s assistant, drilling it into Jackson and a slew of Bull and Laker players. Jackson and his legendary teams might well have fared far differently, without the real expertise and unique offensive schemes provided by Winter.

Consider this my one kind word for a trojan for this millenium.

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