Jerry Krause, the former Chicago Bulls general manager who was the architect of the organization’s six NBA titles in the 1990s, has died at 77. Jerry Krause is a Chicago native. Krause served as the Bulls’ general manager from 1985-2003 and was a two-time league executive of the year. I truly believe that Jerry Krause’s resume makes him the most successful general manager in Chicago sports history. Krause was responsible for bringing together the pieces around Michael Jordan that led to six championships. Krause signed guard Ron Harper and acquired Dennis Rodman to replace Grant. His best moves included on draft night in 1987 to select Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant. Krause also promoted Phil Jackson to head coach in 1989.
“The entire Bulls organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Jerry Krause,” Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. “Jerry was one of the hardest working guys I have ever been around, and he was one of the best talent evaluators ever. 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.”
“I owe a lot to Jerry,” Bulls executive and former player John Paxson said. “If it weren’t for him bringing me to Chicago in 1985, I probably never would have been a Bull. 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.”
Jerry was a great basketball executive who I was fortunate to have worked for when I first joined the Bulls,” said General Manager Gar Forman. “For those that did not know him, Jerry was an even better person. He was a quality human being who treated everyone great. He will be missed dearly. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
In his years after leaving the Chicago Bulls, Krause had done work as a baseball scout, most recently for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had also spent time as a White Sox scout in the early 1980s. Krause has been on the ballot for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for several years, but still hasn’t gotten the call. Krause is a finalist for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in the contributor category. What a shame that he passed away before going into the Hall of Fame. Rest in peace, Jerry Krause. Thanks for those championship caliber rosters. Jerry Krause thank you for everything. Bulls nation will miss you. We love you. Thank you.