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Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Tex in context

By Henry Abbott

Former NBA scout Clarence Gaines Jr. worked with Phil Jackson and Tex Winter in Chicago and blogs about Hall-of-Famer Winter's practices:
Bulls practices were a sight to behold. Tex usually led the offensive drills. Most coaches & fans would be shocked at the basic fundamentals that were stressed by Tex during the initial stages of practice. It's stuff I do with the young kids that I coach. Tex's attention to detail is second to none. His nickname should be "the doodler," always doodling on paper to come up with unique angles (ways to break down a defense).

The greatest compliment I ever heard about Tex was uttered by Scottie Pippen to Michael Jordan on the Bulls team bus after they had been on the Dream Team. If Clyde Drexler had Tex Winter as a coach, he could be on the level of Michael Jordan (I'm embellishing). Bottom line, Clyde was not a fundamentally sound player. MJ had Dean Smith & Tex Winter to emphasize the fundamentals of the game in his developmental years. Clyde didn't have that. To have two players like MJ and Scottie Pippen recognize Tex's greatness in that way, should be a measure of why Tex is in the Hall of Fame, and it should be a wake-up call to coaches at every level to dedicate a portion of every practice to the fundamentals of the game. It should also tell you that MJ and Pip's games were built on more than just pure athleticism. Their game was built on a solid foundation.

(Via Jeanie Buss)