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Category: Tex Winter

NBA Hall of Fame: Tex Winter credited for teaching triangle offense

Tex Winter

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding looks at the influence Phil Jackson provided on Tex Winter and Dennis Rodman.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer looks at how the secondary market will hurt with an NBA lockout.'s Scott Howard-Cooper details the long wait Winter endured before being inducted.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky talks with Trevor Ariza about growing up playing in L.A.

--Sports Illustrated's Jack McCallum argues Dennis Rodman doesn't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame because he was simply a supporting player.

--Fox Sports West's Joe McDonnell explains how Winter earned respect for his willingness to tell the truth and teach basketball. details the Laker Girls traveling to Kentucky.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano wonders if Pau Gasol will find his groove in the European Championships.

--Lakers Nation's Daniel Buerge talks with former WNBA great Lisa Leslie about the Lakers.

Tweet of the Day: "Lakers fans owe Tex Winter so much for his mentorship+friendship of the young Kobe. Tex played a key role in his development." -- lazenby (Lakers author Roland Lazenby)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "A well deserved and overdue induction into the Hall of Fame. Congrats to Tex Winter." -- Martina Kienzie


Lakers learned plenty from Tex Winter

Roland Lazenby discusses Tex Winter's Hall of Fame induction

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: The Lakers' Tex Winter in 2001. Credit: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Cheshire Jets official: Team has offered Ron Artest a stake

Ron Artest

Amid all the tweets from Ron Artest suggesting he may play with the British Basketball League's Cheshire Jets during the NBA lockout, an official told the team website that the organization has offered him a "stake" in the team.

"We are honored that Ron has even mentioned the prospect of joining the Jets," said Peter Hawkins, the director of the team. "Financially we have nothing to offer him, but it would be so significant for U.K. basketball. We have offered him a stake in the club and all the love in the world! To have a genuine NBA superstar even considering coming to the BBL is massive news for our sport and could be the launch pad we need in this country to give the sport the profile it deserves; it might even get the BBC interested in showing the sport!"

Artest's publicist, Courtney Barnes, told The Times on Tuesday that Artest plans to be in Britain from Aug. 18 to Aug. 23 to talk with team officials about possibly playing overseas. However, Barnes added that he hasn't made a concrete decision on the matter. The Jets' website indicates that their season begins on Sept. 30 and runs through April 22. Should Artest join the team, FIBA rules would require him to rejoin the Lakers as soon as the NBA lockout ends. 

The Times previously reported that Artest would play with the Jets, although it wasn't clear when he would first put on the uniform, according to a person who was familiar with the negotiations but wasn't authorized to speak about the matter publicly. That person has since said they misunderstood the question and that the deal has not been finalized.

On Tuesday afternoon, Artest noted the possibility of playing with the Jets on Twitter. He posted a picture of Jets center Matt Schneck holding a jersey that referenced the Lakers star's proposed name change to Metta World Peace. He also tweeted the following message: "Go Jets!!!!! Uk , here we come!!! Jets are the best!!! Jets are the best!!! New chant!!!!!!!!!"

Below the jump are more Lakers-related links

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NBA Hall of Fame: Roland Lazenby discusses Tex Winter's Hall of Fame induction

For far too long, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame each year has announced an induction list that left out one important name: Tex Winter.

It left plenty of people confused and frustrated about why Winter's role as a key architect of the triangle offense didn't warrant a spot in the Hall of Fame beyond his "contributor" tag. Former Chicago Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause resigned from the committee in protest. Former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson campaigned for Winter's inclusion through letter-writing and comments in the media, but said he believed Winter wouldn't get in because he "outlived his contemporaries." Lakers guard Kobe Bryant argued testily that "they should fire the whole panel" because of the snub. And Winter's son, Chris, once told reporters that his father had received seven nominations to be inducted, though the limit is supposed to be five, efforts that hardly worked out.

Until now. 

Winter will be among those inducted Friday at Springfield, Mass., and Jackson will be his presenter. Winter didn't sound entirely thrilled about the news when he initially learned about it, telling reporters he was irritated because the stroke he suffered two years ago will prevent him giving his own speech. Longtime Lakers author Roland Lazenby, who's known Winter since his days as a Chicago Bulls assistant coach, argues that the new inductee has been wrongfully overlooked in the past because he mostly has been an assistant coach in the NBA, but that at least the snub didn't last forever.

"There was a little bit of loosening in attitude," said Lazenby, who's written about Winter extensively in books such as "Mind Games: Phil Jackson's Long Strange Journey" and "Mad Game: The NBA Education of Kobe Bryant." "But you couldn't be sure. He had been turned down so much." 

Lazenby hit on a number of topics in the audio clip above. Click below the jump for the highlights

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NBA Lockout: Things to do during the work stoppage


Barely a week has gone by for NBA fans who have been left twiddling their thumbs wondering if there's going to be a 2011-2012 season.

Aside from the exercise becoming quickly monotonous, basketball fans should expect that nothing will happen for a fairly significant time. The Times' Mark Heisler recently noted there's not going to be much urgency to reach a new collective bargaining agreement until the NFL lockout ends and the work stoppage ultimately affects the schedule and paychecks. So there are things fans can do to pass the time, hopefully not at the expense of suddenly becoming disinterested in the NBA. The ideas go beyond just finally going on vacation and not worrying about the upcoming season. 

The ideas below the jump will help you keep your basketball fix while providing some distraction toward what might be a long lockout.

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Chicago Tribune: Tex Winter expected to attend Hall of Fame induction

6a00d8341c506253ef0147e3b200c4970b-320wiDespite suffering the ill effects of a debilitating stroke for the last two years, Tex Winter's health improved enough that his family is making plans for the legendary former Chicago Bulls and Lakers assistant to attend his induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in early August, the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson reported.

The report also indicates the guest list will include former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, who won 11 championship rings partly because of Winter's mentorship and philosophy surrounding the triangle offense. The report also said in attendance will be Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, who once resigned from the selection committee to protest Winter's exclusion from the Hall of Fame. 

When the Tribune first reported about Winter's induction in early April, Jackson expressed irritation that his longtime assistant wasn't inducted sooner, believing that Winter remained excluded because "his contemporaries passed away," and believing a longtime assistant coach shouldn't get in at the expense of a head coach, player or executive.

"For the past 15 years, there have been people telling me that Tex is going in the Hall of Fame," Jackson said in early April. "When Tex was verbally and cognizantly capable of receiving this award, I would've been much happier. 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 it's been awarded."

Related Posts

Tex Winter to be inducted into Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

Phil Jackson is irritated it took so long for Tex Winter to make the Hall of Fame

Lakers learned plenty from Tex Winter

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Tex Winter. Credit: Associated Press.

Lakers Report Cards: Theo Ratliff

56852166This is the 12th edition of Lakers Report Cards, focusing today on reserve center Theo Ratliff.

Grade: F

Every step looked painful. Every movement seemed slow. And every injury update kept prolonging deeper and deeper into the season. 

There's frankly not much to analyze when it comes to Ratliff's season, which consisted mostly of him of sitting on the sideline while rehabbing his surgically repaired left knee. After playing in the first eight games, posting two points on one-of-six shooting, 12 rebounds and five blocks, Ratliff remained sidelined for nearly 4 1/2 months before returning to the court. The next three appearances in the Lakers' 110-82 victory March 31 over Dallas, the Lakers' 102-93 victory April 12 over San Antonio and the Lakers' 109-100 Game 1 first-round loss April 17 to New Orleans served nothing more than garbage time, combining for zero points and one rebound in five minutes. 

There's little use dissecting those performances because the small sample size shows that, at age 37, the 15-year-old veteran has little left in the tank. Once such a defensive stalwart that he averaged more than three blocks a game six times in a seven-year run during the prime of his career and even made an All-Star appearance in 2001, it was painful to see Ratliff hobble up and down the court. Ratliff didn't talk to reporters after his exit interview, but it was clear General Manager Mitch Kupchak had some second thoughts about signing Ratliff last offseason to a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum of $1.35 million.

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Should the Lakers stick with the triangle offense?

61486644Through all the team meditations, sage-burning exercises and enjoying the high caliber of talent on his teams, none of these qualities truly defined Phil Jackson's coaching career.

He may have felt the need to be a little modest when he pointed out last week in his exit interview that his 11 championship rings mostly predicated on the talent he had, coaching Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen with the Chicago Bulls and future Hall of Famers in Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal with the Lakers. But that commentary ignores a few important things. Jordan, Pippen and Bryant didn't win any titles without Jackson coaching them, and Shaq won three of four came titles under him. Although there were certainly many tumultuous moments, Jackson mostly found a balance between giving his players enough space to make them feel respected and sticking to his beliefs that no player is above the team and immune from criticism. And more importantly, Jackson managed to sell the tenets of the triangle offense to superstar players even though it sometimes sacrificed their individual glory.

"You have to be determined," Jackson said as the key to selling that offense. "Skills are really the important aspect of this game and the players come with those skills. A lot of times we did a practice in which a high school coach would come in and thought we were a step below what they do in high school because we were emphasizing basic fundamentals. But it really is about that and the determination you have with your players that they’re going to do those things that make them work."

Jackson conceded that at varying points of their careers, Jordan, O'Neal and Bryant all had issues with running the triangle. The Lakers' underachieving 2010-2011 season illustrated Jackson's struggle in getting his players to run the offense, remarking that between four or five unspecified players actually knew how to run the system.  And as General Manager Mitch Kupchak summed up, "There are many times this year that we ran the triangle and I couldn’t recognize it."

So the next pressing question is will the Lakers continue to run it? That surely will be answered depending on who winds up becoming head coach, but below the jump I explain why they should stay with that system.

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Lakers learned plenty from Tex Winter


Only moments prior to the Lakers' 2001 championship parade, Tex Winter approached Kobe Bryant and a number of his teammates.

He made no small talk about the upcoming festivities, gave zero praise for individual performances and offered no congratulations for securing a back-to-back title. Instead he fixated on something so minutely detailed, it left plenty of the Lakers wondering why Winter would bring this up just as they were about to celebrate securing a title.

"We're all sitting around and he's talking about us not making fundamentally correct chess passes," Bryant recalled, drawing a few laughs from reporters. "He was serious. We all started laughing. He couldn't understand why we were laughing. That's just Tex."

Bryant shared that anecdote out of admiration for Winter's tendency "not going to sugarcoat anything," as Bryant put it, neither showing a hesitancy to criticize a player's performance or even Phil Jackson. Everyone ranging from Jackson, Bryant and to assistant coach Jim Cleamons argued Winter's induction this year to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame was long overdue mainly because his role in teaching the triangle offense proved instrumental in all of their development. And Winter did so with his unrestrained honesty.

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Phil Jackson is irritated it took so long for Tex Winter to make the Hall of Fame

Tex Winter Lakers Coach Phil Jackson has long campaigned for Tex Winter to make it into the Hall of Fame. Now that it has happened, Jackson isn't entirely happy.

"For the past 15 years, there have been people telling me that Tex is going in the Hall of Fame," Jackson said Sunday. "When Tex was verbally and cognizantly capable of receiving this award, I would have been much happier. 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 in such a great capacity."

Jackson then added, "Still in all, I'm happy that it's been rewarded."

Winter suffered a stroke in April 2009 while attending a Kansas State basketball reunion in Manhattan, Kan.

The official Hall of Fame announcement will take place Monday in Houston before Butler plays Connecticut in the NCAA championship game.

Jackson credited Winter, 89, with providing the on-court template for his coaching career. Winter is the modern-day architect of the triangle offense, which Jackson has employed while winning 11 NBA championships.

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Lakers Roundtable: L.A. Times' Mark Medina with Roland Lazenby on Tex Winter and Jerry West induction to National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson has often jokingly remarked to Tex Winter that his chances of getting inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame will remain slim because "he's outlived all of his contemporaries."

Longtime Laker author Roland Lazenby, another proponent of the 88-year-old Winter for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, has lamented that Winter's role as a key architect in the triangle offense has been overlooked because Winter mostly has been an assistant coach in the NBA. But Lazenby expressed some optimism that Winter's induction Sunday to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Mo., would help Winter's cause.

"He's had a profound impact on basketball as we know it," Lazenby said of Winter, whose head coaching stints at Marquette, Kansas State, Washington, Northwestern and Long Beach State led to records with the Wildcats for most league titles (eight), two trips to the Final Four in 1958 and 1964 and UPI coach of the year in 1959. "I don't know if the Hall of Fame can see past its formulas and its snooty attitude to correct it. I hope it does."  Lazenby noted that Winter receiving the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award prior to Game 2 of the 2010 NBA Finals probably gave him another boost toward the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

In his way, Jerry West can relate to the long wait. Though he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1980, it wasn't until Sunday that he was inducted -- alongside Winter --  in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

"I think they think I'm going to die right away. They always do that before they do these things," West said of his induction which honors his efforts at West Virginia, which includes holding multiple Mountaineer records

Lazenby, who authored a West biography last year titled "Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon," spoke with me in the video below both about West and Winter, whom he's known closely since being an assistant under Jackson with the Chicago Bulls.

Among the highlights:

-- Winter's contributions to the triangle offense and whether the system will live on after Jackson retires.

-- Why Winter has yet to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

-- West's legacy at West Virginia.

-- West's litany of accomplishments this year, including an induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for his involvement with the 1960 U.S. Olympic team, the Lakers announcing they'll unveil a statue of him as a player outside Staples Center and his induction Sunday into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]



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