Jerry Krause Rumors
“He outworked everybody,” Reinsdorf said. “If he was scouting a game, he didn’t arrive at game time. He would arrive during the warmups. He wanted to see what players did before the game if it was basketball. If it was baseball, he wanted to be there for batting practice. He also never let his opinions be colored by other scouts. “It’s fairly common in both sports for scouts to be buddy-buddy. They hang out together. They talk about what they’ve seen. But Krause didn’t want anything to do with the other scouts for two reasons: one, he didn’t want to tell them anything, and he didn’t want anything they believed to color his own opinion. It was very important to him that he formulate his own opinions, not be colored by somebody else.”
Scott Williams: “We find ourselves down one late in the game, I’ve got the ball in my hands — I believe it was off an offensive rebound because they really didn’t throw the young college kid the ball very much — and fire one of these textbook, two-hand chest passes that Dean Smith taught me right over to M.J., who’s on the baseline about 19-20 feet out and he goes up, tongue out of his mouth, patented Jordan form on the jumper, right up over the defender and cans the bucket for the win. So he’s the one that makes a call to Jerry Krause leaving that game saying, ‘Hey, I think Scott Williams might be able to help us out.’ … I always say I am the luckiest undrafted player in the history of the NBA, if there is such a thing.”
“As I understand it, Jerry denied having the conversation, which is absolutely not true,” Carr said Monday while reflecting on the quarter-century old phone call to Krause. “We did have a conversation. I reached out to Jerry, realizing that Michael had left the game. I knew Michael was not gone forever.
“I offered Jerry a first-round draft pick [to simply talk with Jordan] and he goes, ‘Well, M.L., Mike is not coming back. He’s retired.’ Well, he is coming back. I think he is. But he denied the fact that I did that, I guess to save face with his owners. … I thought, [Jordan] had already done it in that Chicago uniform, if he got a chance to come to Boston, put on the green, what a great thing that would be from a marketing standpoint. He would have made a fortune. … It didn’t happen. It would have been wonderful.”
Carr’s desire to talk to Jordan came on the heels of a trip to Chicago where Carr had signed 34-year Dominique Wilkins as his first big-splash move since taking over the general manager position. Surely, if Carr had designs on pairing Jordan and ’Nique, then Wilkins would have been in the loop. So we put the question to The Human Highlight Film. “I don’t think so,” Wilkins said, exploding into laughter from his Georgia home, when apprised of the plan to unite him and Jordan. “It would have been nice. I’d have to loved to play with him, are you kidding? But, if that was true, you would have heard about that before now.”
It’s nonsense, of course. Krause was one of the keenest basketball minds of his generation, an ex–baseball scout turned NBA general manager who inherited a team with Jordan and proceeded to build out a roster around him. It was Krause who pulled off one of the great drafts in league history, in 1987, when he acquired Scottie Pippen in a draft-day trade with Seattle and scooped up Horace Grant a few picks later. It was Krause who pulled Jackson from the basketball bushes, plucking Jackson out of the CBA in ’87 to work as an assistant to Doug Collins, elevating him to head coach two years later. And it was Krause who used a second-round pick in 1990 on Toni Kukoc, nabbing a playmaking, sweet-shooting European big man years before NBA teams started scouring the globe for them.
Eddie Johnson: I love the Fact @Scottie Pippen recognized Jerry Krause as the best GM in the league and he and Steve Kerr got some positive air time in regards to playing with a bad back and Kerr reliving and discussing his dad. Great class from both and well deserved! Finally! #LastDance