Legendary Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause joins The Vertical Podcast with Woj for an extensive visit.
Krause goes into great detail on the building of the Bulls dynasty, the genius and competitive will of Michael Jordan, MJ’s retirement and return, the hiring of Phil Jackson from the Albany Patroons and the dynamic drama of those relationships. Krause goes into great detail on his painstaking processes as a basketball and baseball scout, the lessons Red Holzman taught him on the scouting trail and the most important quality beyond talent that he needed to surround Jordan with on the Bulls (yes, mental toughness)
Krause tells of his anxieties on the phone discussing trades with Celtics GM Red Auerbach, the amazing chain of events that led him to making a draft night deal for Scottie Pippen and how as a member of the Phoenix Suns organization in the early 1970’s, the organization talked with Bob Knight about becoming the franchise’s coach – and why the offer was never made.
And finally, Krause talks about his deep desire to be elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame, where he’s finalist again in 2017. Here are some key moments:
1:50: Krause’s health preventing him from scouting for the past few years.
3:57: Scouting at a high level in basketball and baseball.
6:30: How Theo Epstein’s overhaul of the Cubs led to a World Series title.
8:47: The benefits of scouting two sports.
13:31: What he learned about scouting from Hall of Fame coach Red Holzman.
14:51: Discovering Earl Monroe before he was on the national radar.
18:17: The Suns nearly hiring a young Bobby Knight in the 1970s.
21:17: Transitioning from being a scout to general manager of the Bulls.
25:44: Wanting Jordan to not play after he broke his foot and the divide it caused between him and the front office.
32:23: Drafting Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant in 1987.
38:16: Identifying Pippen as a playmaker to complement Jordan.
45:33: Jordan challenging the mental toughness of his teammates.
46:51: The difficult decision to replace Doug Collins with Phil Jackson.
54:53: How the Bulls came to run the triangle offense.
58:10: Negotiating with Celtics president Red Auerbach.
1:01:03: Jackson portraying Krause and the front office as the team’s enemy.
1:03:49: How he learned about Jordan’s first retirement and his improvement as a baseball player.
1:07:37: Building the Bulls for their second three-peat.
1:14:49: Jordan and Pippen disliking Krause’s pursuit of Toni Kukoc.
1:16:39: The end of the Bulls dynasty.
1:23:27: Where the Bulls rank among the NBA’s greatest teams and dynasties.
1:27:05: Being a finalist for the Hall of Fame this year and what it would mean for Krause.