During the 1997-98 season, NBA legend Michael Jordan tried making a pitch for Phil Jackson as head coach and GM of the Chicago Bulls. His Airness shared a very volatile relationship with former Bulls GM Jerry Krause.
The 1997-98 season of the Chicago Bulls was the last chapter in probably one of the greatest dynasties in American sports history. The Bulls GM Jerry Krause had made it publicly clear that the 1997-98 season would be Phil Jackson’s last season as head coach, something MJ completely resented.
Jordan’s teammate Scottie Pippen was at loggerheads with Krause but agreed to play the 1997-98 season. Despite all of these controversies, the Bulls would 3-peat in 1998. However, it was evident that we wouldn’t see the same Bulls roster next year.
MJ had made it publicly clear that he wouldn’t play under any other coach except Phil Jackon. The 10x scoring champion made all efforts to retain Jackson but failed.
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While speaking to Rick Telander of ESPN, His Airness floated the idea of getting Krause fired and making Phil Jackson the GM of the organization.
Michael Jordan wanted Phil Jackson to be the GM and Head Coach of the Chicago Bulls.
It is no secret that Jordan and Krause didn’t see eye to eye, the 10x scoring champion felt Krause made poor business decisions. The Bulls superstar even took shots at the former GM publicly.
“I can operate with or without Krause, but when we walk past each other, we never speak, Jordan said. I guess you could say I don’t agree with his business decisions. We give up Jason Caffey, there’s no logic to it. The lousiest decisions are stumbled on. Getting some second-round picks in return? I can’t even think of a second-round pick in the league.”
During the 1997-98 season, the Bulls superstar even made a public proposal to sack Krause as the Bulls GM. However, the majority owner Jerry Reinsdorf paid no heed to his request.
One thing is for sure, money won’t keep me in the game. Never. Just change ownership,” Jordan said. “And you know what I’d consider a change in ownership? Change the GM. Let Phil be general manager and coach. Krause? I don’t want to start a war around here. I’ll just say that sometimes it’s tough working for an organization that doesn’t show the same type of loyalty toward you as you show it.
The following season, Jackson and Jordan would retire from the game while Pippen would be traded to the Houston Rockets. The decision rubbed the city of Chicago the wrong way, who made their disapproval evident by booing Krause during the 1998 championship parade.
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In what many believe, the Bulls would have won a couple of more titles had Reinsdorph fired Krause as the GM. At the time, the idea to rebuild the roster seemed completely bizarre, especially with Jordan and co 3-peating twice.