I don’t know which was more surprising:
Phil Jackson citing Jerry Krause as the “map’’ for his new job as head honcho of the Knicks or Krause thanking Jackson for the shout-out.
We’ll know the world officially has gone nuts if Jackson says players don’t win championships --- organizations do.
In case you don’t know or remember how bad it got between Bulls coaches and management, it got bad.
The seemingly annual contract talks, which usually came after a rally in Grant Park, once led Jackson’s agent to say Krause “sucked the joy out of winning.’’
Jackson, though, didn’t need an agent to fuel the acrimony. He seemed to foment Krause enmity in the locker room to unify the Bulls, starting with Michael Jordan.
Of all the things Jackson convinced Jordan to buy into, the mocking of “Crumbs’’ came as easy as hating the Pistons.
As the dynasty rolled on, Jackson seemed to be trying to annex Krause’s authority, if not also his job.
The Jackson-Krause relationship got so bad, in fact, that on the day Jackson signed his last contract with the Bulls, Krause immediately let everybody know that would be Jackson’s last contract with the Bulls. Thanks for coming.
Jackson regularly forgot it was Krause who gave him a spot on the Bulls staff before eventually giving him Doug Collins’ job.
Jackson also regularly forgot who gave him the players he needed to win six titles in eight seasons.
But there was Jackson in New York on Tuesday, praising Krause for building championship teams.
“He was very thorough,’’ Jackson said, “very comfortable, very committed to finding out information about players that would help create teams that could win.
And there was Krause by phone in Arizona, graciously responding.
“I appreciate what he said,’’ Krause told the Tribune. “I appreciate he understands the difficulties of the job.’’
Krause added that Jackson was the “best-ever’’ at getting stars to buy into a team concept and went on to cite his “wonderful defensive mind and wonderful people skills with players.’’
This is Jackson and Krause now? Someone must’ve declared a truce and done it in secret. Krause did everything in secret, which part of what made him a public punching bag.
When you look like an Oompa Loompa, you’re a target to start with. Krause made himself more of a target by making himself secretive and many times unapproachable. Krause trusted no one. He believed that was the only way to do a scout’s job. Any information you give out hurts you.
The “Sleuth’’ believed his employer wanted it that way, but even if he didn’t, that was the approach that served Krause the best, and Krause was the best of his generation. The best.
Krause ought to be in the Hall of Fame. The alleged experts charged with deciding such things ought to be embarrassed that he isn’t, and arguably, the Jordan-Jackson axis remains a shield for the idiot voters who ignore Krause.
Wise up, people, Jordan didn’t win those title playing one-on-five. In fact, when Jordan did play one-on-five, the Bulls lost. Jackson pulled off the greatest sales job in sports history by convincing Jordan to share the ball, but Jackson didn’t have a case until Krause gave him Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, John Paxson and Bill Cartwright.
And another thing, Jordan didn’t win those titles picking guys on the playground himself. Love Jordan all you want, people, but he’s shown in Washington and Carolina that if he had picked talent for the Bulls, then they never would’ve won even one title, so forget six.
Krause gave Jordan and Jackson the “supporting cast’’ that was capable of winning a title. In fact, Krause put together rosters that three-peated twice, even though the Zen master acted as if the talent appeared shortly after he achieved satori.
No, it was Jordan’s individual brilliance in a team concept, Jackson masterful psychology in selling team and defense, and Krause’s exhaustive search and assessment of players who fit the championship profile.
That was the Bulls’ triple-post title “map.’’ That was always the case, no matter how Jordan and Jackson acted.
Stunningly, Jackson acknowledged as much. Nice move by Jackson.
Better move by Krause.