By Satuk Bugra KutlugunANKARA Legendary basketball coach Tex Winter passed away at the age of 96 in Manhattan, his family said late Wednesday.Winter -- who won 9 NBA titles with Chicago Bulls (6) and Los Angeles Lakers (3) assisting head coach Phil Jackson -- was the innovator of the “triangle offense.”"Tex Winter was my biggest critic. He was also my biggest fan," Scottie Pippen, NBA legend Hall of Famer and former Chicago Bulls player, wrote his thoughts on Twitter."Without Tex, we may never have won a title. He taught us how to slice and dice our opponents on the offensive end," Pippen said."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," Pippen wrote.Also in a post Twitter, Hall of Famer NBA legend and former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant offered his condolences."My mentor. I sat with Tex & watched every minute of every game during our 1st season together. He taught me how to study every detail. He was a bball [basketball] genius in every sense of the word. I’ll miss him deeply. Thank you Tex. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. Rest In Peace," Bryant wrote.