“The Last Dance” showed behind-the-scenes footage of Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls teammates openly mocking general manager Jerry Krause.
The Athletic’s David Aldridge, who made frequent appearances in the documentary, believes that Krause never got the credit he deserved.
“Jerry Krause just kind of gets reduced to this overweight punchline,” Aldridge said on The Habershow podcast with NBC Sports national NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh. “Who in their right mind would think that’s a fair fight between Michael Jordan, who is only the most popular person on earth, the most charismatic athlete in the world, this incredibly good-looking, glib, smart great basketball player versus this short, fat, uncommunicative front office guy nobody has ever heard of? How is that a fair fight?”
Aldridge pointed out that Krause’s biggest gambles, such as firing coach Doug Collins, paid off.
“Jerry Krause didn’t draft Jordan, but he put everything else in place around him on that team starting with Phil Jackson,” Aldridge said. “People forget now, he fired a guy who was in the Eastern Conference finals, a pretty damn good coach, and he fired him for a guy who had never been an NBA head coach ever before. That takes some doing.”
Aldridge, who was awarded the Curt Gowdy Media Award by the Basketball Hall of Fame, is aware of the role that the media played in the way Krause is remembered.
“He was terrible to the beat writers, and not much better with the columnists in town,” Aldridge said. “So when it came to the time where somebody has to stand up for Jerry Krause, there was nobody because they all couldn’t stand him.”
Here are the timestamps for Haberstroh’s interview with Aldridge:
8:45 -- The flu game ... or pizzagate?
25:23 -- The best behind-the-scenes footage in “The Last Dance”
34:15 -- The list of everything MJ took personally
38:46 -- What about the Wizards?
40:40 -- Could the Bulls have stayed together in 1999?
For more on Jordan, listen and subscribe to the trailer of Sports Uncovered’s “I’m Back” episode: