Jerry Krause, the late Bulls general manager,, but he played an integral part in forming a loaded roster that helped bring Chicago six titles in the 1990s. Krause was the one that found Phil Jackson and identified him as the right leader to help the Bulls reach their potential as a team. He also in October of 1995, which was viewed as an extremely controversial move at the time.
Adding Rodman was the ultimate risk/reward move for the Bulls. If things went well, Rodman could provide Chicago with some much-needed rebounding while the organization chased more championships. However, it the situation went south, the possibility of Rodman becoming a locker room cancer was one that Krause had to consider. In hindsight, it's clear that Krause made the right move there.
In addition to recognizing Rodman's ample on-court talent and understanding how that talent could be harnessed to help the Bulls chase championships, Krause was also apparently pretty fond of Rodman as a person, and he felt that the man know as "The Worm" was largely misunderstood by the masses. Krause detailed some of his feelings for Rodman in an unreleased and unfinished memoir. Here's an excerpt from the memoir, courtesy of NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson:
If God gave me the ability to construct the perfect rebounder, I'd want quick feet on a tall, wide-shouldered frame, strong-legged, good hands, quick jumper and a mean streak that never shut down ... In other words, I'd want Dennis Rodman, the best rebounder I've ever seen. Sure, I'd look at Paul Silas first and then Charles Oakley. But eventually I'd settle on Rodman and then put him on the floor for 45 minutes a game for a bunch of years and enjoy.
If you're a skeptic, you'll say, 'Rodman was nuts, a showman, not a player, a disgrace to the game, a non-scorer who only could rebound, a player who habitually wore out his welcome and moved on.'
If you're an optimist, you'll say, 'He was a little goofy but in a positive way, a master at a skill that's crucial to winning games, a guy who learned to play the team game.'
If you're me, you'd say that he was a great team player, one of the most intelligent basketball players ever, a 6-foot-8-inch player with the ability to defend anybody from 6-2 guards to 7-2 centers. He was a player who in three years for us never hurt anybody but himself. He was a kind, giving person, a human being who learned what it took to make money and took advantage of it --which last time I looked was called the American way.
Dennis is basically a simple person, with few real wishes and desires. Give him love and affection, be honest with him, provide him with some security and give him enough room to roam and he'll go to war for you. Hurt him by not showing him you care and he'll rear back like a cornered animal, trying not to hurt you but to get away from you and go off someplace and heal his wounds ... The tattoos and the hair color and the cross-dressing stunts are not the real Dennis I know. They were just a way for him to separate from the pack. To me, he was simply one of the most fundamentally sound players I've ever been around.
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen both had their own issues with Krause, but Rodman didn't necessarily share the same sentiment as his teammates. Rodman,on ESPN's "First Take," revealed that he didn't get involved with matters of the front office, and thus his relationship with Krause remained respectful.
"Jerry Krause, it's a difficult thing," Rodman said. "I never got involved with the front office at all ... I never really got into the politics of it, I never asked Michael or Scottie: 'What is the reason you guys are so bitter towards management?' I never asked those guys that, but after a couple years, I figured out where it all came from.
"For me, I was just more there for the ride, pretty much," he said. "I wanted to win championships with these guys. I would go to war for these guys any time of the day ... It was just sad the fact that we could have come back and won a fourth championship very easily."
Krause is often portrayed as a villain, and the main reason that the Bulls disbanded in 1998. While there is some truth to that, Krause certainly had his own side of the story; a side that has gone largely unheard. However, with the recharged interest in all things Jordan and the Bulls due to "" documentary, perhaps we will get to learn more about Krause in the form of more memoir excerpts.