(CBS) — Jerry Krause, the former Bulls general manager who was the architect of the organization’s six NBA titles in the 1990s, has died at 77.
Krause served as the Bulls’ general manager/executive vice president for basketball operations from 1985-2003 and was a two-time league executive of the year. He had been battling health problems for years, including osteomyelitis, the Tribune reported.
“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.”
Krause’s resume makes him the most successful general manager in Chicago sports history. While Krause inherited Michael Jordan upon taking over in 1985, he made a long line of shrewd moves to build a championship team around Jordan. His best moves included maneuvering on draft night in 1987 to select Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, two foundational pieces as the Bulls rose to prominence.