Krause explained decision to break up ’98 Bulls in unfinished memoir

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The Vilain had valid reason to blow everything up

Late former Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause defended his decision to allow the team’s 1990s dynasty to end after the 1997-98 season in an unpublished memoir.

In an excerpt provided by his family to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson, Krause reasoned that concerns over Dennis Rodman’s off-court behavior, center Luc Longley’s decline, and Scottie Pippen’s recent injury history would have made it impossible to convince head coach Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan to return for 1998-99.

“Could we get Phil to coach without a proven center, power forward, probably Pippen, a basically new bench, and crazy expectations that ‘in Michael, we trust’ can win without help?” Krause wrote. “Not a chance.”

Krause died in 2017 at age 77. The late executive has been the subject of some criticism in the documentary “The Last Dance,” which chronicles Jordan’s final year with the Bulls that culminated in the franchise’s sixth championship of the decade.

Jordan retired for a second time following that season. Jackson, whom Krause had said prior to the 1997-98 season would not be re-signed under any circumstances, joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999 and immediately guided the team to a three-peat.

Krause shipped Pippen to the Houston Rockets in a sign-and-trade, a move he claimed he made as a favor to the forward, according to Johnson.

Some members of that Chicago team have argued that the franchise would have continued to win had the roster remained intact. Rodman said in April the Bulls would have “easily” won a fourth straight title in 1999.



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