The Chicago Bulls celebrated Opening of the Ring of Honor category During Friday night Match against the Golden State Warriors. But one of the men being honored angered the United Center crowd in an unfortunate scene: the late general manager Jerry Krause.
Krause, who died in 2017 at age 77, was the Bulls' longtime general manager from 1985 to 2003. He built around Michael Jordan and turned the Bulls into six-time NBA champions. He won two Executive of the Year awards (1988, 1996) along the way and He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame Shortly after his death. He also oversaw the downfall of the dynasty, as documented (without his point of view) in “The Last Dance”.
Presumably, this fact is what led to the audible booing when he was honored during the halftime ceremony. His wife, Thelma, who represented him He appears to be in tears On poor reception.
“What we witnessed today, when Jerry Krause's name was called and people were booing Jerry Krause and his widow, who was accepting this honor for him — was the worst thing I've ever seen in my life,” Bulls analyst Stacey King, a member of Chicago's top three title teams, said. he said on the broadcast.
King continued: “I hurt for that lady. I made her cry. Whoever booed her in this arena should be ashamed of themselves.” “This is not Chicago. This is New York. Philadelphia. Chicago is not that. We don't have a reputation for being that way. Whether you like Jerry Krause or not, this guy brought six championships here. And he never shot a basket.” “And he didn't get a rebound, but he won six titles (in the rafters). There are a lot of teams that don't even have one (championship) title.”
“It was really classy. I was disappointed in the people who booed. It was sad.”
The king is right. Although the disintegration of the Bulls' dynasty may have been premature and Krause failed to build a winner again before leaving in 2003, citing health issues, he is by almost any measure one of the great executives in league history. Only three other franchises have collected more rings than the Bulls' six: the Warriors (7), Lakers (17) and Celtics (17).
Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Tony Kukoc, Artis Gilmore, Bob Love, Chet Walker, Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson, Tex Winter, Dick Klein, and Johnny “Red” Kerr rounded out Ring of Honor's inaugural class. The 1995-1996 Bulls team was also honored. This team, which went 72-10 and won the NBA title, was of course built by Krause.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, a member of the 1995-96 team, said he did not hear Krause booed when he returned to the locker room with his team. But Kerr did not back down, describing the actions of the booing crowd as “shameful.”
“It's absolutely shameful” Kerr said. “I can't believe it… I'm devastated for Thelma and for the Krause family. What can we think?
“…I'm very disappointed for the fans – and I want to be specific, because I know there are a lot of fans who I'm sure didn't boo. But those who did, they should be ashamed.”
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