Jerry Krause was an American sports scout and general manager of the Chicago Bulls in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1985 to 2003. Moreover, his tenure with the Bulls included their six NBA championships between 1991 and 1998, led by superstar player Michael Jordan. Krause received the NBA Executive of the Year Award in 1988 and 1996. He was posthumously inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. His career in sports included positions as a scout or general manager for the Baltimore Bullets, Chicago White Sox, and the Chicago Bulls.
Krause was born in 1939 and grew up in Chicago. He played high school baseball as a catcher at Taft High School in Chicago and attended Bradley University. Later, after college he went to work as a scout with the Baltimore Bullets. Early on Krause gained a reputation of being able to eye talent. Moreover, while with the Bullets, he urged the team to pick North Dakota forward Phil Jackson in the 1967 NBA draft. The Bullets did not draft him, but Krause continued to keep in touch during Jackson’s playing career and into his first years as a coach. Their relationship flourished during the 1970s and 1980s. Similarly, after a few years with Baltimore, Krause worked as a scout with the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls in the 1970s.
Krause replaced Rod Thorn as Chicago Bulls GM beginning the 1985 NBA season. His very first hire was longtime personal friend Tex Winter as a Bulls assistant bench coach. Krause urged Winter to teach all Bulls players, especially Michael Jordan, the triangle offense. Winter learned the triangle offense as a college player at USC under then head coach Sam Barry, and later used it to successfully guide the Kansas State University Wildcats to a number one ranking, topping both national college basketball polls during the 1958-59 regular season and also leading the program to two Final Four appearances as their head coach. Krause would even have to fire then Bulls head coach Doug Collins and replace him with assistant coach Phil Jackson because he would not let Winter do as Krause had instructed.
Later years and death
In 2003, Krause resigned as general manager. He explained, “The rigors and stress of the job have caused me some minor physical problems in the past few years.” The Bulls fell to 23–59 in the next season, and Krause’s dream of a talented young athletic team imploded with all of his acquisitions traded or out of the league within three years. Eddy Curry had success in the league, but perhaps did not live up to the lofty expectations that Krause had. Meanwhile, former players Brand, Miller, Artest, and Chandler became All-Stars for their new teams.
Krause went back to his roots and worked briefly for the New York Yankees as a scout before joining the New York Mets in 2005. Since 2010, he rejoined the Chicago White Sox as a scout, a position he had held in the 1970s and 80s. He was appointed by the Arizona Diamondbacks as a special assistant in its scouting department on April 1, 2011. On March 21, 2017, Krause died at the age of 77. He had been struggling with health issues such as osteomyelitis. He was inducted into the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame class posthumously.
- Full Name: Jerome Richard Krause
- Date of Birth: April 6, 1939
- Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Date of Death: March 21, 2017
- Death Place: Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Nationality: American
- Spouse: Thelma Krause (m. since ?–2017)
- Awards: NBA Executive of the Year Award
- Parents: Gertrude Krause, Paul Krause
- Net Worth: N/A
CV Read More Jack McKinney
Reference Jerry Krause