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Tex Winter’s Hall of Fame election took way too long

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

After seven years of rejection by the Basketball Hall of Fame, former Bulls assistant Tex Winter, 89, finally will get in.

So will Dennis Rodman. And sources say Chicago native and 76ers great Maurice Cheeks also will be inducted Aug. 12 in Springfield, Mass.

“It’s been a long time coming, and it’s well deserved,” Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said. “Not only because of the tremendous impact he had on the NBA and the championships he helped win, but because he also had a great college coaching career. It’s just sad that it didn’t happen when he could really enjoy it.”

Hall of Fame forward Scottie Pippen agrees. He regrets this wasn’t done before.

Winter suffered a stroke two years ago, basically leaving him speechless.

“It’s about time they decided to induct Tex,” Pippen said. “They should’ve done this years ago.”

It was Winter’s triangle offense that Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson implemented with the Bulls and Lakers.

For years, Jackson and former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause aggressively campaigned for Winter, who’s a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame. They felt he deserved it for a 486-235 head-coaching record and more than 60 years of coaching in college and the NBA.

“Tex’s whole body of work as a basketball coach should be considered,” Reinsdorf said.

As many expected, former Bulls coach Dick Motta, who had an NBA regular-season record of 935-1,017, won’t be inducted.

“He was a good coach, and he won a championship with the Washington Bullets,” ex-Bulls general manager Pat Williams said. “But he also had a losing career record.”

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