HoopsHype Jerry Krause rumors
We caught up with Jackson because the Bulls are holding a halftime ceremony Saturday night to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1991 championship. But Jackson will be a key figure missing from the event because his Lakers will be playing in Dallas that night. “And I’ll really miss that,” Jackson said of a reunion that will feature Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. “It would have been great to see that team come together again.” Chicago Sun-Times
Jackson, a son of Assembly of God preachers, nursed the notion of becoming a preacher himself before following his 6-8 frame to play four years for the University of North Dakota and 13 years in the NBA before coaching in the CBA and then the NBA. “I definitely believe that the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step,” the Zenmaster said. “My first step was being hired by the Bulls, and it all happened in the strangest way. My birthday [Sept. 17] just happened to fall on the day [in 1987] when the Bulls had lost assistant coach Gene Littles, who left to accept a job coaching the Charlotte Hornets. “My telephone number just happened to be on Jerry Krause’s desk when somebody called him asking for it because they said they wanted to wish me a happy birthday. So since the Bulls had to pick up another coach at the last minute, those circumstances all came together to put me in the right spot at the right time. So Jerry called and offered me the job. I took my first step when I accepted the job, and the rest is history.” Chicago Sun-Times
As time passes, Krause, the great general manager of the Chicago Bulls, still lives with the gulf between him and Jordan, with a relationship that perspective never bridged, that the years never mended. Maybe they were too stubborn, he says now. Maybe they were just wired too wrong. “It would’ve been nice to have that, but it wasn’t going to happen,” Krause said by phone from his suburban Chicago home. “And it’s probably better that it didn’t, because I don’t think we would’ve won as consistently. Michael was a different cat, and it was a different era of basketball. “All the differences were created by unusual circumstances. We weren’t friends, and I still can’t call him a friend by any means. But I have a tremendous respect for him as an athlete and a competitor.” Yahoo! Sports
Jordan owes him a deep debt of gratitude in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech on Friday, and the Hall of Fame owes Krause a bid on the wall in the class of 2010. It’s a disgrace that Krause has never made it past the screening committee – never mind as a finalist. Krause doesn’t issue statements when he’s slighted and doesn’t enlist his famous pals to campaign for him. Truth be told, he excused himself as a member of the voting panel in 2004. He despised the process and became disillusioned he couldn’t sell Winter’s Hall candidacy as a contributor. “I said that I would never step foot in that Hall of Fame again until Tex gets inducted, and I haven’t,” Krause said. Yahoo! Sports
Krause transformed the roster. He surrounded Jordan with rebounders, defenders and shooters. He hired Jackson out of the Continental Basketball Association to work on Doug Collins’ staff, and elevated him when he believed the Bulls became a championship contender. “We hired Phil when nobody would hire him in the NBA,” Krause said. “He was getting ready to go to law school and get out of basketball. … We got along fine until some contractual things flamed up. Phil’s a great coach. Phil’s the best coach ever with good players.” Yahoo! Sports
“Michael was great at identifying things,” Krause said. “Would Pippen have been great someplace else? Michael absolutely killed Scottie in practice every day for his first two years. Mike just tore Pip up. He made Pip learn how to compete and forced him into playing hard. Had there not been someone to challenge Scottie like that, I’m not sure what would’ve happened to him.” Yahoo! Sports
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