Former Bulls GM Jerry Krause dies at 77

Posted: 21/03/2017 in NBA, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

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Former Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, the architect of six championships, has died at the age of 77.

He battled persistent health issues, including osteomyelitis, reports K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

“The entire Bulls organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Jerry Krause. Jerry was one of the hardest working guys I have ever been around, and he was one of the best talent evaluators ever,” said Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

“Jerry played an integral role in our run of six championships in eight years. He truly was the architect of all our great teams in the ’90s. I would not have been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame if it were not for Jerry. We will miss him tremendously, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his wife Thelma and the Krause family.”

Michael Jordan offered his condolences through a statement to Johnson:

“Jerry was (a) key figure in the Bulls’ dynasty and meant so much to the Bulls, White Sox, and city of Chicago. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Thelma, his family, and friends.”

Krause built the Bulls dynasty that spanned the late 80s and into the 90s. He hired Phil Jackson from the Continental Basketball Association, brought on Tex Winter as an assistant, and added Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Toni Kukoc, and Dennis Rodman to surround Jordan. The Bulls won six titles under his watch and grew into a global brand.

However, the franchise fell on hard times after Jordan left, and the Bulls eventually replaced Krause after 18 seasons at the helm with Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson in 2003, following a failed rebuild.

“I owe a lot to Jerry. If it weren’t for him bringing me to Chicago in 1985, I probably never would have been a Bull,” Paxson said. “He had a great eye for talent, and his ability to build a team is unrivaled. He’s one of the best the league has ever seen. We’re keeping Thelma and his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

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