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“Don’t Tell Anybody Anything”: Jerry Krause Left 1988 Pick Will Perdue Terrified During His Pre-Draft Workout for the Bulls

Shubham Singh
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“Don’t Tell Anybody Anything”: Jerry Krause Left 1988 Pick Will Perdue Terrified During His Pre-Draft Workout for the Bulls

While many in the Chicago Bulls fanbase have developed animosity towards Jerry Krause, the former Bulls General Manager didn’t leave a stone unturned to protect his team’s scouting data. Will Purdue, a part of the 1991-93 Bulls three-peat, encountered Krause’s eccentric Sleuth-like ways before he was even drafted #11 by the squad in 1988. The Center’s pre-draft workout for the Bulls was akin to a chapter in Tom Clancy’s spy fiction novels.

In a 1993 Sports Illustrated article that discussed Jerry Krause’s intricate methodology to derive scouting data, Perdue’s bizarre pre-draft workout for the Bulls was discussed in length. The Vanderbilt Center was received by high-profile scout Billy McKinney at the airport.

When McKinney transferred the “secret prospect” into a cab, Perdue recalled McKinney telling Krause, “This is Agent Blue calling Agent Orange. The package has been picked up and is in the process of being delivered.”

But that was just the beginning of the bizarre affair. When Krause picked up the future Bulls backup Center, he was taking note of every detail around his car. When he entered the multiplex parking lot of the Health Club where Perdue was supposed to have his workout, the GM hastily raced off as he witnessed a sportswriter coming out of the building.

After Perdue went through the process of working out, the GM once again carefully read his surroundings. Then he registered the “terrified” 7-foot Center under a fake name to avoid detection.

However, the following morning, Perdue forgot his alias. It created a huge confusion as the cabbie looked for the fake name under which he was registered. The Center thought this “ordeal” was commonplace in the NBA, but much to his surprise, it wasn’t so. That’s why after the bizarre turn of events was over, Krause asked Perdue to keep mum about what took place.

“Don’t tell anybody anything,” stated Krause as per Perdue in the SI article.

This story proves that the Bulls GM considered his draft prospects as “top-secret files”. Like a spy thriller, he’d use code names like “Agent Blue” so that if someone traces the phone line, they can’t figure out what is taking place. Apart from that, the astute manager wouldn’t let any insider get hold of a leak at any cost. It’s like an FBI agent guarding the delivery of a confidential product or hidden gems. 

Jerry Krause’s divine scouting abilities

The 2017 Hall-of-Famer would enter random NCAA games to hunt potential Bulls players. This is the same man who went to huge lengths to draft Scottie Pippen in 1987. By reading Pippen’s bodily responses and scoring mechanics, he knew that the forward would fit right alongside Michael Jordan. Therefore, his ability to discern top talent better than others was lauded frequently. In the 1993 SI piece, when he was asked what separates his talent from other scouts, he replied, “It’s God-given”.

He revealed that it took him the first few shots to figure out if the talent belonged with his squad. Since he was also one of the most prolific baseball scouts for decades, his discerning eye could figure out a top-notch talent within the first three shots.

“If somebody has the goods, I see it right away, basketball or baseball. Swinging a bat and shooting a ball are exactly the same—wrists, hand-eye coordination, recognition of the pitch, how to get the shot off, ” expressed the cautious scout.

Krause had a spy-like approach when it came to scouting. He wouldn’t want to leak the data to any other team. If they figured out who Krause was eyeing, they could take the talent for themselves. Perhaps Bulls fans who are booing the scouting legend need to take a closer look at the history of the man who played a massive role in their six championships.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh

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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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