It seems especially fitting that ex-P-I sportswriter Bill Plaschke would be writing about ex-UW hoops coach Tex Winter, since the topic is about what used to be. Now the popular LA Times sports columnist, Plaschke this week updated the story of Winter, the longtime LA Lakers assistant who suffered a recent stroke and is recovering in Oregon. "Imagine today's airline pilots being counseled by the Wright brothers," Plaschke notes. "That was Winter with the Lakers, living history, more amazing by the year." And while the coach is surviving, he is 87 and his newest opponent plays a mean game, writes Plaschke. "Because he had no other interests but basketball, his days are sometimes long and tedious. Because it appears he will never coach basketball again, he is constantly fighting depression. 'I wish I could tell you this was a totally upbeat story, but it's not, it's tough,' [son] Russ said. 'Sometimes my father feels like he's an old man who doesn't have time to learn to talk again.'" His family says letters cheer him up. Send them to 32100 SW French Prairie Road, Number 228, Wilsonville, Ore., 97070.