The documentary The Last Dance It was a worldwide success, reviving the passion for the Chicago Bulls and bringing to light unpublished images of one of the NBA's most momentous franchises. However, it also generated a great wave of confrontations.
One of those who did not stand up well was Jerry krause, who was singled out as the "bad guy" in history. The then general manager of the institution was in charge of creating one of the most legendary teams in the history of sports practically from scratch, but he was also the main architect of the search for a renovation, something that Illinois has not yet have overcome, after several irregular seasons.
Throughout the ten chapters of the series produced by ESPNThe manager maintained strong crossings with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson, for example. MJ He made fun of him, and at a press conference he did not hide his displeasure at the idea of making a strong change within the squad after obtaining the fifth title. Pippen, angered by the contract he had, decided to postpone an operation, leaving him out of the beginning of a season. He told the coach that even if he won every game, his future would continue far from Chicago.
Krause died in 2017 (he was 77 years old), which is why he could not be interviewed or defend himself against the accusations he received during the media boom that the documentary generated. Given this situation picture, the family decided to share with NBC Sports Chicago an excerpt from the memoirs of the former general manager. Jerry was never able to finalize the book, but his family is in the process of finalizing it and trying to publish it as soon as possible.
In this advance, the leader explains the reasons why he decided to go for a strong renovation and the reasons that led Michael Jordan to move away- It would only continue if Jackson was the coach, but the coach did not want to take on the challenge of facing a rebuild.
After getting the sixth and second ring three-peat of the franchise, in July 1998 the team management met with doctors and staff members to assess the physical conditions of the campus and start making some contractual decisions.
"The first question I asked was how much did they think we could get out of Luc Longley, a future free agent that we had had to rest periodically in recent years due to some unstable ankles
The inmate was traded to the Phoenix Suns. He only played three more seasons in the NBA, and retired in his country. Their numbers were never the same again.
The next question he asked revolved around the controversial figure of Dennis Rodman. "Everyone at the meeting was concerned about his wanderings off the court and that this was affecting him ”, he explained. El Gusano was a daring gamble that paid off for the Bulls, but the leadership believed the bomb was about to explode.
After his departure he only played 35 more games in the NBA, defending the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks jersey.
“No center, no power forward, and very little financial flexibility to sign someone of any quality to replace them. Who defends in the middle if Jordan and Pippen return? Who is bouncing? ”Was the desolate scenario that Krause plotted.
Although the quality of Pippen was immense and proved to be the ideal complement to MJAt the institution they questioned whether it was worth taking the risk of providing a super contract to someone who had been whipped for their injuries. "I had had two major surgeries in two years, one in late summer to purposely challenge our instructions to do it earlier and not waste time in the regular season. He wants to be paid superstar dollars. Is it worth the risk, especially if we can't find a center and strong power forward? Have he and Michael been loaded with a new coach? I seriously doubt it. ”
Pip He got the contract he longed for at the Houston Rockets, but he only had one season. He then moved on to the Portland Trail Blazers, but his numbers were no longer the same. Already with another management, he returned to Chicago in 2003, but injuries caused him to abandon his adventure prematurely.
Can Michael continue his greatness without a center, strong forward and possibly Pippen? Could Bill Russell have won without big players around him? No. Michael has publicly said that he will not play for a coach other than Phil. Phil has told us that he leftWith these words, Krause made it clear that the problems seemed to have no solution and that all roads were going to lead to reconstruction. And then, he added: "Could we get Phil to train without a proven center, strong power forward, probably Pippen, a basically new bank and crazy expectations that 'we trust Michael' and that he can win without help? No way".
The role of two players who would become free agents and who could earn much more money than they could pay him was also raised, such as Steve Kerr (landed at the San Antonio Spurs) and Jud Buechler (signed with Detroit Pistons)
Krause concluded with a question for his readers: “Put yourself in our shoes as we leave that room. What would you do? Did we break a dynasty or was it broken by age, the natural wear and tear of the players, and the salary cap rules that govern the game?"
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