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No it's not Jordan's fault that Kraus was a jackass.

It's poor form to "boo" or speak I'll of the dead. Unless that's Jerry Kraus, who was Reinsdorf's stooge and a classless idiot. Jordan has every right to characterize him as the jerk he was.

As for Pippin, a great ball player with the intellect of a 6-year-old, a whining bratty 6-year-old.

As for his Airness, he's a maniacal winning machine and the best thing to happen to Chicago since...err...I'm still thinking.

PS. Ok, I shouldn't have gone and booed Krause's widow. Just kidding, I wouldn't waste my time on that.

How did something as beautiful as six NBA titles become so unpleasant? Blame Michael Jordan.

He’s the reason Bulls fans booed deceased GM Jerry Krause at a ceremony Friday, bringing Krause’s widow to tears.

By Rick Morrissey, Suntimes

Jan 14, 2024

Fans booing late Bulls general manager Jerry Krause at a Ring of Honor ceremony Friday, bringing his widow, Thelma, to tears.

Twenty-six years after the Bulls’ last NBA title, the most astonishing thing about the Michael Jordan era is not the six championships, the 72-10 record in the 1995-96 season or Jordan’s five MVP awards.

It’s that something so beautiful has become so unpleasant.

The cause of that is part Jordan, who hasn’t mellowed in his need to dominate everything and everybody, and part the cult of Jordan, which is filled with fans, media members and other sycophants ever working to stay on the good side of the best to ever play the game.

It helps explain why Jordan won’t give Scottie Pippen what he needs – his due – which has led to a years-long rift between the men. Both skipped a ceremony Friday introducing the franchise’s new Ring of Honor.

The cult of Jordan helps explain why, all these years later, fans would boo the mention of deceased Bulls general manager Jerry Krause at that United Center event, bringing his widow, Thelma, to tears. It was as ugly as it sounded. Uglier, even.

Jordan was no fan of Krause while both were pursuing championships in Chicago, and he went out of his way to let everyone know it, including during his 2009 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech. Let’s be clear: The full-of-himself Krause did himself no favors by once saying, “Players and coaches don’t win championships, organizations do.’’ And the jockeying for credit for the six titles among Jordan, Krause, Pippen, coach Phil Jackson and chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has been distasteful. But Jordan demonized Krause, and his toadies were more than happy to follow their leader, mocking Krause’s body shape, his rumpled clothes, his lack of refinement.

MJ is cool, and if we robotically back everything he says and does, so are we. This is how delusion works.

Looked at from that vantage point, the booing that made Krause’s widow cry wasn’t nearly as outrageous as one might think. I’d argue that it was predictable, in that human nature is predictable. The normally baaing sheep, now booing obediently.

It’s true that Krause was almost giddy when the breakup of the Jordan Bulls began. He wanted a chance to prove that he could build something great without having to hear, at every turn, that it’s easy to win when you have Michael Jordan on the team. But Jordan was spent after the last title in 1998, though few want to hear it. In the heat of the moment, I thought the Bulls could win another championship, but the clearheadedness that comes with time has shown me that the Bulls weren’t going to win another title with that roster.

Nothing is easier than to hang onto the myth that Krause and Reinsdorf were the marriage wreckers. The only reason that myth is going strong more than a quarter century later is because of Jordan and all the people who nod in agreement at everything he says. (If you know what’s good for you, you’ll never mention to them that LeBron James is a pretty good player, too.)

It gets a little trickier for Jordan fawners when it comes to Pippen, a great player in his own right and a Hall of Famer. Pippen is emotionally needy. No doubt about that. Most people would be happy with six championships. But Pippen is the son who never gets affirmation from his father. And Jordan is the father who delights in offering his son only tough love.

Time and again, Jordan has gone out of his way to let Pippen know where he stood in the pecking order: Jordan first and then … give him a second … oh, yeah, Scottie.

Why it has to be this way is something only Jordan can answer. He has never tired of getting subtle digs in at Pippen. His competitive streak helped explain his need to control every possession, every game and every championship. It doesn’t excuse his need to control every memory, too.

Why, yes, now that you ask, it can get weirder: Jordan’s son, Marcus, is dating Pippen’s ex-wife, Larsa. Marcus reportedly has hinted that he wants Michael as his best man if he and Larsa get married. What’s the etiquette on ripping a deceased GM and a former teammate in a best-man speech?

Jordan was awful as an executive in Washington and as an owner in Charlotte. But no owner ever received less abuse for being bad at the job than MJ, who could count on fans and media chums to ignore the obvious. Better to talk about his greatness as a player than his shortcomings as a decision-maker.

When it comes to the Bulls, everybody’s living in the past. That makes sense. The team hasn’t been consistently good in a long, long time. But the version of history that Jordan’s devotees favor centers as much on Krause’ alleged villainy as it does on six glorious NBA titles.

How sad is that?

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