Why coaching legend Tex Winter was instrumental to Bulls success
Before practice began Thursday at the Advocate Center, Chicago Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson addressed the team about the passing of coaching legend Tex Winter. Director of performance health Chip Schaefer also contributed.
Winter, known as the father of the triangle offense, passed away Wednesday at 96. He was a Bulls assistant from 1985-98 and had more local ties with his time as head coach at Northwestern from 1973-78.
"I knew him from (living) here, knowing the triangle," Bulls forward Jabari Parker said. "I remember when he got inducted into the Hall of Fame. So I definitely grew up as a fan.
"There's an old saying that you don't know where you're going unless you know where you've been. For me, the history of the game is very important. I try to study as much as possible."
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg joined the team just after Winter followed Phil Jackson to the Los Angeles Lakers, but he is well-versed on Winter's career.
"It's crazy, my grandfather (Jerry Bush) was the head coach at the University of Nebraska (from 1954-63) and Tex was coaching at Kansas State at the time," Hoiberg said. "My grandfather passed away 42 years ago. It's just crazy that you can see how many people Tex touched over the course of his lifetime.
"Tex coached against Phog Allen; Phog Allen played for James Naismith. It's amazing to see the impact on the game that Tex had.
"And my favorite all-time Tex line is, 'We've got certain guys not running the offense out here. I'm not going to mention names, but his initials are Corey Benjamin."
Bulls legend Scottie Pippen shared some thoughts on Winter from his Twitter account.
"Without Tex, we may never have won a title," Pippen wrote. "He taught us how to slice and dice our opponents on the offensive end. We had the GOAT (Michael Jordan), but it was Tex's knowledge and triangle offense that helped us shred defenses.
"Tex was tough on me early in my career. But he believed in me and gave me the confidence I needed to make the triangle work. He'd say, 'I'm not criticizing, I'm coaching.' "
LaVine looking good:
Zach LaVine continued to make a strong return from ACL surgery, scoring 22 points in Wednesday's preseason victory over Indiana.
During the preseason, his per-36 minute numbers are impressive: 29.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists on 50 percent shooting overall, 40 percent from 3-point range.
"ACL injuries take awhile," said LaVine, who suffered the injury on Feb. 3, 2017. "I do feel pretty good out there. I feel athletic, I feel as fast as anybody out there, as quick. That's how I used to feel. So it feels good to be back there."
Dunn for the dogs:
Congratulations to Kris Dunn for delivering one of the better quotes in recent Bulls history after Wednesday's game. Dunn said his goal was to be a dog on defense and was asked to explain what that meant.
"Pit bull off the leash," he replied. "When you see one, how do you feel? You get scared, right? Nobody wants to see a pit bull off the leash. Where the owner at?"