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“Bulls Administration Despised Jerry Krause”: Running Michael Jordan’s Bulls in 1985 Served as the Platform to Redemption For ‘Disgraced’ GM

Shubham Singh

"Bulls Administration Despised Jerry Krause": Running Michael Jordan's Bulls in 1985 Served as the Platform to Redemption For 'Disgraced' GM

Despite his skills in identifying talents that can elevate a team, Jerry Krause often found himself in the crosshairs of many people. It wasn’t just Michael Jordan who resented him even during his Hall-of-Fame speech. In MJ’s 2014 memoir Michael Jordan: The Life, author Roland Lazenby quotes a testimony of a long-time Bulls employee from 1998 to prove that Krause was a subject of gossip and ridicule among people from Bulls’ management as well. It also documents his elation at getting the GM job as a slap in the face to those who mocked him.

By the time he became Bulls manager, Krause had mutual recognition among many coaches, assistants, and scouts. He was a well-known figure because he had done intense scouting for not just the Bulls, but for the Suns, the 76ers, and the Lakers as well. His name recognition during his time as the General Manager for MLB’s Chicago White Sox also helped him land the Bulls job. However, the preceding administration that had ridiculed him spread various stories about him.

“The previous Bulls administration despised Jerry. They had all these stories and tales and ripped him all the time,” revealed a 1998 Bulls employee in Michael Jordan: The Life

Knowing that he has been ripped to shreds by many in the Bulls’ management, Krause was over the moon when he landed the job. In that vein, the Bulls employee also expressed in the memoir that the “despised” GM had also claimed, “I’d left in disgrace, and I’d come back on top.”

There is no denying that Krause did make his own enemies during his time in charge of the Bulls. However, it is hard not to see things from his perspective either. Never having been given credit for his excellent work, the former GM still came in day after day and did a stellar job. Most other people in his position would have likely chosen to quit instead, given the atrocious work environment. 

Krause deserves far more respect than he is currently given. For putting together the cohesive, championship-winning dynasty that he built, Jerry Krause deserves just as much credit as Michael Jordan for the six championships the franchise won.

When Jerry Krause resigned

After nabbing six championships and two Executive of the Year Awards in 1988 and 1996, the high-prized Scout resigned as the General Manager of the Bulls in 2003. By then the Bulls were rebuilding and were banking on young talents such as Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry. The distress of being among the bottom squads after winning for most of his tenure took its toll on the keen-eyed individual. Submitting his resignation, Krause expressed, The rigors and stress of the job have caused me some minor physical problems in the past few years” 

While bidding farewell, the prominent Executive named Jerry Reinsdorf as his successor, someone who became the owner of the Bulls in 1985 and the one who named Krause the Bulls GM in the same year. Reinsdorf attributed the Bulls’ success to the retiring GM’s “imprints”. 

There would not have been a coach Phil Jackson. There would not have been Scottie Pippen, Bill Cartwright, Dennis Rodman, or a host of others who wore Bulls uniforms during those championship seasons,” expressed Reinsdorf.

Krause passed away in 2017 but left a deep but complicated legacy. The renewed interest in the personality arose from two major instances. His appearance in The Last Dance, where MJ was seen mocking him at every turn. Apart from that, when many Bulls fans booed him during the 2024 Bulls’ Ring of Honor, his widow Thelma was crestfallen.

Therefore, former Bulls players like Steve Kerr and Stacey King condemned these disrespectful fans for their reactions. The disrespect emerges from the fact that many consider that the GM rode the coattails of the players and instead of crediting them, he took all the credit to himself. However his reception may be, no one can erase his immense role in helping the Bulls nab six titles.

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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