With The Last Dance taking over Twitter during its first six episodes, NBA fans have found no shortage of topics to discuss. They have commented on Dennis Rodman's relationship with Carmen Electra, Scottie Pippen's dominance as a defender and Michael Jordan's parking. They have also frequently discussed Jerry Krause, the former general manager of the Chicago Bulls.
Krause served as the GM of the Windy City team from 1985 until he resigned in 2003. The team won six championships during his tenure and became known as one of the NBA's dynasties. However, he was also viewed as a controversial figure. Krause was known as someone that "alienated" the players on his team, which has become apparent during The Last Dance.
Despite his reputation, there are still many things that fans don't know about the late Krause. They know that he started as a scout before working his way into a position of power. Although this was not a direct route. He spent time working in other sports prior to applying for and accepting the job of the Bulls' GM.
Various interviews throughout the years have made it appear that former Bulls coach Phil Jackson and Krause didn't have the smoothest relationship. Jackson was even informed that 1998 would be his "farewell tour." However, Krause did openly campaign for the Baltimore Bullets — who later became the Washington Wizards — to select Jackson in the 1967 NBA Draft. This did not happen but the pair did build a relationship during the 1970s and 1980s.
Jerry Krause went from baseball scout to just asking to be the GM of a basketball team to building a dynasty— Good Dude (@Dxrrick) April 22, 2020
Following his tenure with the Baltimore Bullets, Krause left basketball prior to taking over as the Bulls GM. He worked as a baseball scout for several teams including the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago White Sox. It was during his time with the Sox in 1984 that he applied for the job as the Bulls GM. He was hired by new owner Jerry Reinsdorf and made the full-time leap back to basketball.
New York Yankees and Mets
For Yankees fans who watched The Last Dance last night...
Fun fact: Jerry Krause went on to join the Yankees as a baseball ops special assistant after retiring as GM of the Bulls in 2003— Dan Federico (@DanJFederico) April 20, 2020
Following his tenure as the Bulls' GM, Krause returned to the sport of baseball. He was hired by the New York Yankees and worked as a scout once again. He only spent a brief period of time with the Yankees before heading to the New York Mets. Krause spent four years with the MLB team.
"Jerry was recommended to me by staff members at the time," Omar Minaya, the Mets’ general manager from 2004-10, told the New York Post. "I hired him because both his baseball and basketball background were very intriguing. He had been around great players in both sports with a winning pedigree as an executive, so that was a unique perspective. His role was mainly in pro scouting over amateur."
Jerry Krause should have just stopped speaking around MJ pic.twitter.com/kyyuDm50V3— Red Line Radio (@RedLineRadio) May 4, 2020
Krause was not the tallest person around; that much information is known. However, viewers of The Last Dance have noticed that it's seemingly impossible to find his actual height. They believe it has been scrubbed from the internet. Jordan constantly made fun of the GM for being too short, which stirred up searches on the topic.
Executive of the Year
Best in the Biz: Jerry Krause (1939-2017) was on the short list of NBA GMs to win NBA Executive of the Year multiple times (1987-88, '95-96) pic.twitter.com/L3g09VDCGw— NBA History (@NBAHistory) March 21, 2017
When Jordan returned to the Chicago Bulls after his short stint in Minor League Baseball, the team put together three consecutive championship seasons. Krause added Dennis Rodman to the strong roster and the team responded with a then-record of 72 wins in a single season. This led to Krause being named Executive of the Year for the second time. The Bulls followed this effort up with 69 wins and a second championship season.
He Inspired Jordan's Performances
You did NOT want Jerry Krause to like you. 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/fZEWJBWNMC— theScore (@theScore) May 4, 2020
Viewers of The Last Dance have noticed that every time Krause said that he liked someone or something, Jordan would find a way to prove that he was wrong. If he said a player was great at defense, the six-time champion would make plays against them. Krause's comments led to some big games throughout Jordan's career.
On March 21, 2017, Krause died at the age of 77. The cause of death was listed as "persistent health issues," which also included osteomyelitis. This rare condition is an infection of the bone. Osteomyelitis is more common in children ages 5 and under, but it can occur at any point in life.