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Jerry Krause Once Revealed Why He Didn’t Give in to Michael Jordan: “Had His Butt Kissed by Everybody in the World”

Trikansh Kher
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Jerry Krause Once Revealed Why He Didn’t Give in to Michael Jordan: “Had His Butt Kissed by Everybody in the World”

Jerry Krause changed basketball history forever when he traded for Scottie Pippen following the ’87 draft. To many casual fans, Krause is nothing more than a side character who appeared from time to time on ‘The Last Dance‘ to irk Michael Jordan and his Bulls teammates. But in actuality, Krause built a good team as the General Manager for the Bulls. However, his tenure was not devoid of controversy. On the contrary, Krause seemed to thrive in controversy and conflict.

What made him special was his passion for the sport and his unwavering determination to win. Krause and Jordan, two people who desperately needed each other to win, unfortunately, never saw eye to eye. If you ask the former, he would tell you that it’s because he never kissed Jordan’s a**, like everyone else. Back in 1993, Krause revealed to the media the real reason behind the duo’s rift.

The then-Bulls General Manager said, “I’m the only one who has told him [MJ] no. When he had the broken foot back in 1985, I told him he couldn’t play. If we had let him run rampant, we wouldn’t have the two championships.”

“This kid has had his butt kissed by everybody in the world except his parents and me…My goal is not to be his friend. My goal is to win titles,” Krause added.

Looking back, Krause wasn’t completely wrong. Jordan would go on to prove Krause right after his disastrous stints in Washington and Charlotte. There’s no denying that the Bulls needed a man who wouldn’t say ‘yes’ to every single whim of Michael Jordan. Because sometimes winning requires tough decisions. And Michael Jordan was certainly not supportive of some of them, like trading his friend Charles Oakley for Bill Cartwright.

However, that doesn’t make Krause a flawless saint either. According to Jordan, the beef between the two started way back in ’85, when Krause told Jordan he couldn’t play. Well, it wasn’t just what Krause said, but how he said it. While talking on the subject, Jordan reportedly told a member of the press that, “He [ Krause] said, ‘You’re Bulls property now, and we tell you what to do.’ I was a young, enthusiastic kid, and that just made me realize this was a business, not a game. We never hit it off after that.”

It’s fair to say that both Jordan and Krause had their reasons to hate each other. Krause was constantly ridiculed by Jordan, and Jordan was constantly denied access to trades and managerial decisions by Krause. Both of them had massive egos and the room wasn’t big enough for both of them, a trend which seems to follow Jordan to this day.

In any case, posterity hasn’t been kind to Jerry Krause, especially after the release of Netflix’s The Last Dance. In fact, he was even recently booed by Bulls fans during Ring of Honor night.

Krause did respect Jordan

The difference between Krause and Jordan was Krause’s respect for Jordan. While Jordan decided to undermine Krause at every given opportunity, Krause did shower Jordan with praise from time to time.

One such instance has been captured by a clip posted by the Instagram page Jumpmanhistory. In the clip, Krause points out a stunning revelation about Jordan, telling the media,

I will say one thing for Michael Jordan now and forever… he never came to me and asked me to draft a player. He never came to me and asked me to trade for a player. Never once did that happen. Part of it was because he thought he was so darn good, he could win without’ em.”

Even if MJ’s behavior was rooted in arrogance, the abovementioned statement just reinforces Jordan’s legacy. In today’s era, where players demand to be traded every season, the willpower exhibited by Jordan seems to be otherworldly. Though Krause indeed did a decent job surrounding Michael with great talent, there were times when the Bulls were undersized and lacked depth.

About the author

Trikansh Kher

Trikansh Kher

Trikansh Kher is a writer at The Sports Rush. A lawyer by education, Trikansh has always been around sports. As a young track athlete Trikansh was introduced to basketball through 'street ball' mixtapes. He was hooked and it has been 'ball is life' ever since. Trikansh is a designer by profession, but couldn't keep away from basketball. A regular on the blacktop, his love for the game goes further than just hooping. If Trikansh isn't going through box scores for last night's game, you can find him in his studio working on his designs or playing squash at the local club.

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