Tex Winter, who teamed with Phil Jackson to lead the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers to multiple NBA championships, died Wednesday in New York. He was 96.
Winter pioneered the triangle offense that the Bulls and Lakers both used to dominated the league for years.
"I learned so much from Coach Winter. He was a pioneer and a true student of the game," Michael Jordan told the Chicago Tribune.
"His triangle offense was a huge part of our six championships with the Bulls. He was a tireless worker. Tex was always focused on details and preparation and a great teacher.
"I was lucky to play for him. My condolences to his family."
Winter began his coaching career at Kansas State University in 1947. At age 30, he became the youngest coach in US college basketball.
He was hired as an assistant coach with Chicago in 1985 where he joined forces with head coach Jackson to guide the Jordan-led Bulls to NBA titles in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Winter eventually followed Jackson to the Los Angeles Lakers. They guided the Lakers to three championships from 2000 to 2002.
"On behalf of the entire Lakers organization, I'd like to express our sadness at the passing of Tex Winter," said Jeanie Buss, the Lakers chief executive officer.
"Tex was a mentor to many of our coaches and players."