As ESPN’s 10-part documentary concluded on Sunday night, the basketball world can now ponder and understand the turbulent pathway that Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls franchise had to endure during their dynasty.
There needed to be a villain during the series highs and lows, and Jerry Krause got drawn the short end of the stick. A brand new generation of teens and twenty-somethings would come away with a deep understanding of what Jordan would do to win, and unfortunately decide that Krause was the cause of the breakup.
Let me remind you that Krause was the virtuous architect for one of the greatest NBA teams in basketball history. The ex-baseball scout turned NBA general manager first inherited a team with Jordan and proceeded to build out a roster around him perfectly. The GM then pulled off one of the most significant drafts in acquiring Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, who would complement Jordan and his game. Krause plucked Phil Jackson from nowhere, and understood his unique coaching abilities, who is now considered one of the greatest coaches of all time. It was Krause who had the foresight to trade for Dennis Rodman, which transformed the Bulls defense overnight. Or how about predicting success like European big-man Toni Kukoc, before NBA teams started scouring the globe for them.
The list of accomplishments that Jerry achieved is what got him inducted into the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame. But unfortunately, Jerry passed away from a bone disease at the age of 77, just days before the call came in informing his wife that Krause had made the class. Jerry did have a complicated history with his players and staff, but his failure wasn’t breaking up the Bulls team; it was his inability to rebuild it again.
Catch you Thursday.