Tex Winter, the inventor of the triangle offense that the Los Angeles Lakers have run since Phil Jackson has been the head coach, was announced today as one of 10 members to be inducted as part of the 2011 class into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Winter, according to the release from the Hall of Fame committee, began his coaching career in 1947 as an assistant with Kansas State University and continued at the collegiate and NBA levels until 2006. He was part of nine NBA championships with the Lakers and Chicago Bulls and was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
His most-successful disciple, Jackson, seemed to think that this was a bittersweet moment since it took so long for Winter to actually be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"For the past 15 years there have been people telling me that Tex is going in the Hall of Fame. When Tex was verbally and cognizantly capable of receiving this award, I would have been much happier," Jackson told ESPN's Brian Kamnetzky. "The fact now that he's had a stroke that's impaired his capabilities, it kind of irritates me a little bit that this wasn't done 10 years ago when he was still serving basketball at such a great capacity."
"Still, in all, I'm happy that it's been awarded."
Winter, 89, suffered a stroke in 2009 and reports indicate declining health will prevent him from attending his induction ceremony.