Jerry Krause still drives around his old neighborhood occasionally.

On this visit, he is walking on the same Taft baseball field where he warmed up pitchers, first met Hasselman, soaked up all Smilgoff could teach him. Planes fly low overhead on their descent to O'Hare. Krause looks up, and he's reminded of a vision he once had.

That June 12, 1991, night the Bulls finally broke through to defeat the Lakers and win the franchise's first NBA championship, he celebrated and finally retreated to a quiet hot tub with his wife. He looked at the sky.

"And I saw my dad," he says. "And I saw Veeck. And I saw Freddy (Hasselman). And I saw Coach Smilgoff. And they were saying, 'Damn, that kid won the damn thing!' And they were all having beers."

He tried to share the moment with Thelma, but she just laughed, said he was crazy.

"But I saw them," Krause says, his voice rising. "To this day, I can't figure it out. It was very emotional. I was crying. Those were important people to me."

And this anecdote, perhaps more than anything, defines Krause. For all his bluster and brazenness, his ability to analyze all and annoy some, he is a team player at heart, always seeking perfection, always craving connection.

When Krause buried his father on the city's Northwest Side, he noticed a grave site nearby that said, "Here lies the heart and soul of a newsreel cameraman."

Krause isn't sure if he wants to be buried or cremated. But if it's the former, he wants to be near family. And he's sure what his gravestone will read.

Here lies the heart and soul of a scout.

Twitter @kcjhoop