‘The Final Dance’: Jerry Krause refused reconciliation makes an attempt from Phil Jackson, per Jerry Reinsdorf

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'The Last Dance': Jerry Krause refused reconciliation attempts from Phil Jackson, per Jerry Reinsdorf


The biggest loser of “The Last Dance” was, without question, Jerry Krause. The legendary Chicago Bulls general manager was portrayed as the villain of the series, an egomaniac determined to win a championship without the shadows of Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson looming over him. While the documentary brought that portrayal back to light, it is largely how the Bulls treated Krause for three decades. 

And that was something that Krause was never going to forgive. Years after leaving the Bulls, he even had the chance to do so.

“Years later, when Phil was coaching the Lakers and they were coming to Phoenix, I’d have lunch with him,” Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “At one of those lunches, he said, ‘I’d really like to bury the hatchet with Jerry,’ and he asked me to be the middleman.” 

But Krause rejected the offer when Reinsdorf reached out to him. Reinsdorf considers it an act of pride.

“I would tell Jerry, ‘Get over it, get over it already.'” Reinsdorf said. “But Jerry was a lover scorned. He was so proud of the fact that he had found Phil [in the Continental Basketball Association] and he turned out to be a superb coach. Then when he felt that Phil turned on him, he was not going to love Phil once more.”

Specifically, Krause could not recover from his therapy by the hands of Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Each had numerous axes to grind with their normal supervisor. Jordan routinely questioned Krause’s strikes, together with buying and selling his shut pal Charles Oakley for Invoice Cartwright, whereas Pippen was perpetually offended about his below-market-value contract. Krause thought that Jackson might have been an middleman in that relationship however selected to not be. 

“He thought that Phil might’ve stopped Michael and Scottie from being so adversarial,” Reinsdorf mentioned. “Phil might’ve stepped in, he might’ve stopped it, and it actually bothered Jerry.”

The 2 will likely be indelibly linked perpetually. Krause found Jackson and introduced him to the NBA. Jackson gained Krause all six of his championship rings. But on the time of his loss of life in 2017, Krause was by no means publicly recognized to have reconciled with Jackson. The price of profitable championships for Chicago, it appears, have been the relationships they constructed alongside the best way. 

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