The facts are real that Krause groveled to get respect and love from the team, let alone the critics in a major media market. It’s more than fair to say that he never knew his place. If they do take the route and emphasize the villainous Krause/Jerry Reinsdorf storyline…It’s deserved.
There are so many Chicago fans that state the success of the Bulls wouldn’t have arrived without Jerry Krause. you only need to point to how often he antagonized Jordan with his personnel choices and his moves as a GM.
The quick knee-jerk is to bring up the spat between Jordan and Krause/Reinsdorf and his return from Jordan’s foot injury. However, if you look at Krause’s first moves as a GM, you’ll not only see ‘who shot first’, but also you’ll see the barren emptiness of his regard for team chemistry.
To start, Reinsdorf/Krause team together to fire Rod Thorn who went on to be one of the more successful front office consultants and minds over the pat three decades. Krause quickly followed that insurrection by firing Kevin Loughery who Jordan not only adored, but also respected because of Loughery’s reputation among coaching circles and his past work. Loughery knew how to win, and he loved to run. He delivered two ABA titles in a tough league, and he should be credited with allowing Julius Erving to bloom into a superstar.
Krause then hired Stan Albeck who had failed with the Spurs. Albeck held a rigid system which was not a strong fit for Jordan’s style of play. Worse, Krause who thinks he is making a steal by trading a disgruntled and highly underachieving David Greenwood, delivers an aging and lost George Gervin who was a hopeless cocaine addict at the time. The thought of bringing George Gervin who is at the height of his cocaine addiction to downtown Chicago is almost cruel. Most importantly, Jordan who was the league’s burgeoning superstar and a star who rivaled Walter Payton in popularity in only his first year, begged Krause to not bring Gervin aboard the franchise because of the cocaine use not just with him but with the rest of the team.
How does one not consider that request during a rebuild? How do you alienate your star-rookie player during a ground-zero rebuild? What value do you place upon team chemistry to foster a winning environment for the most exciting single player the NBA had seen since Lew Alcindor/Kareem Abdul Jabbar or the arrival of Erving to the NBA?
Keep in mind, Jordan not only didn’t respect Gervin for his cocaine use, but also was extremely peeved by Gervin being one of the alleged conspirators of the famed ‘freeze out’ at the ’85 All-Star Game. How aloof to developing team chemistry can you be? How do you bring an aging cocaine addict on to a team with Orlando Woolridge and Quintin Dailey who had massive issues with drugs and off-the court issues? (Keep in mind that Gervin only three years later rushed into an ER because he snorted ‘what he thought was cocaine’ and didn’t know what he put up his nose.)
To follow-up these moves at the beginning of 85 and after somewhat of a playoff success in the loss to the ’86 Boston Celtics which easily could be one of the NBA’s greatest teams. Krause stunningly fires Albeck. A shocked Albeck proclaimed the front office to be the most chaotic and back-stabbing front office that he had encountered, and he blamed Jerry Krause culprit #1.
The long leash and trust that the self-proclaimed ‘neophyte to the game’ Reinsdorf tied to Krause who followed with developing one of the most strangest and paranoid cultures in sports team history is bizarre in itself. (I would love to have seen the psychological exercise of ‘lay down and think blue’ with the 85-86 Bulls.) Keep in mind that all of these chaotic moves occured before the bungling list of draft day whiffs such as Brad Sellers over Johnny Dawkins, Will Perdue over Rod Strickland, Stacey King. I’m not even counting Jeff Sanders, Jason Caffey, or Dickey Simpkins.
(Note: As for all of the Jerry Krause Hall of Fame proponents: Imagine Johnny Dawkins with Michael Jordan in ’86-87…Brad Sellers? Will Perdue or Rod Strickland when you desperately need a ball handling PG who can score and guard Isiah Thomas..I’ll rest my case. Rod Strickland was became one of the top 4 point guards in the league from 1993-2003. And please stop and think if you want to deliver a the ever-played counter punch with the Scottie Pippen pick…the whole damn NBA knew about him after draft invitationals.)
It’s for those reasons that you have to side with Jordan and ‘The Jordannaires.’ They were forced to exist in a bizarre culture. As a Chicago resident and tax payer for the United Center, I can honestly say that there is a curse on the Bulls franchise…Reinsdorf and Krause crossed the Gods. We may be in full payment mode for the rest of the century.
The best question that will coincide with this series. How can one defend Jerry Krause going to the Hall of Fame in 2017?
5.) UNC-Chapel Hill Roots – Critics can point to Jordan’s stubborness as a major factor for the Bulls break-up, but you have to remember a big facet to the Jordan myth…UNC Chapel Hill and Dean Smith. There is a deeper reason why Jordan returned to Chapel Hill after his foot injury in November 1985…Home.