Jerry Krause’s unforgivable booing and how Michael Jordan softened the damage

If the Chicago Bulls had a “Ring of Honor” — and they do now — Jerry Krause was among the first inductees.

His decade-long team-building campaign in the late 1980s and much of the 1990s was a masterclass in how to build a championship team around a once-in-a-lifetime talent like Michael Jordan. Six titles. Two independent runs and three consecutive runs.

But that’s just why it was such an irony to hear his name met with boos when he was announced Friday at the United Center by his widow, Thelma He was holding back tears in obvious frustration.

Regardless of one’s feelings about Krause, six years after his death, he remains a controversial figure among Bulls fans, and it was indecent to boo his family when they accepted the honor on his behalf. As broadcaster and former Bull Stacey King said at the time, those who booed “should be ashamed of themselves.”

That said, who couldn’t have foreseen this? When Jerry and Michael Reinsdorf hastily arranged the ceremony to celebrate the 72-win team that swept the NBA in the 1995-96 season and invited Jordan, Scottie Pi What were Pon and many others, including Klaus, thinking when they joined the new alliance? Create a Ring of Honor?

Krause is the villain in “The Last Dance,” a documentary about the Jordan era that captivated American audiences during the height of the pandemic. The show’s narrative accuses Krause of prematurely blowing up the legendary franchise. Replays of the scene in which players made fun of Krause led to Jordan cruelly giving Krause the nickname “Breadcrumbs.”

Resentments that should have been quelled are reignited. So while it’s inexcusable, the boos are predictable. The Reinsdorfs bear some responsibility for the harm Selma Kraus is experiencing now. We hope the overwhelmingly negative reaction to what happened will take some of the sting out of what she’s feeling.

This is one way to help correct this serious mistake. Jordan himself didn’t join in on the festivities, instead filming a video thanking the fans and the team so he could publicly give Krause the honor he deserved and call for an end to the age-old grievances that plague all those who indulge in them It’s not good for everyone. . After all, Jordan had essentially creative control over The Last Dance and portrayed Krause in such a negative light.

MJ is under no obligation to do so. The Ring of Honor wasn’t his idea. It was the right thing to do — and it meant far more than the boos from the Reinsdorf family and others still associated with the Bulls.

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