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Michael Jordan mentor Fred 'Tex' Winter dies at 96

222   //    11 Oct 2018, 12:19 IST
Fred 'Tex' Winter
Fred 'Tex' Winter

Fred 'Tex' Winter, assistant coach at the Chicago Bulls during their 1990s dominance of the NBA, has died at the age of 96.

Winter was one of Phil Jackson's key assistants and is credited with helping teach the triangle offense to Michael Jordan, which was key to Chicago winning six NBA titles between 1991 and 1998.

He subsequently joined Jackson at the Lakers and helped Los Angeles to three straight titles from 2000 to 2002, before returning as a consultant during the successful 2008-09 season.

"Tex Winter was a basketball legend and perhaps the finest fundamental teacher in the history of our game," Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said in a statement.

"He was an innovator who had high standards for how basketball should be played and approached every day.

"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 organisation will always be remembered."

In a statement quoted by the Chicago Tribune, Bulls great Jordan commented: "I learned so much from coach Winter. He was a pioneer and a true student of the game of basketball.

"His triangle offense was a huge part of our six championships with the Bulls. He was a tireless worker, always focused on details and preparation, and a great teacher.

"I learned so much from coach Winter and was lucky to play for him. My condolences to his family."