Jerry Krause

Central Notes: Bulls Fans, Carter, Nesmith, Bolden

The Bulls intended to honor their history Friday night as they welcomed the inaugural class for their new Ring of Honor, but the ceremony was overshadowed by the fans’ reaction toward late general manager Jerry Krause, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN. Many fans at the United Center loudly booed at the mention of Krause, sparking an emotional reaction from his widow, Thelma, who was there to represent him.

“I’m telling you what, Chicago is a sports town, and what we witnessed today when Jerry Krause’s name was called and the people that booed Jerry Krause and his widow, who was accepting this honor for him, it was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said former Bulls player Stacey King, who is now an analyst for NBC Sports Chicago. “I hurt for that lady. Brought her to tears, and whoever booed her in this arena should be ashamed of themselves.”

The first Ring of Honor class included 13 former players, coaches and executives, along with the entire 1995/96 team. Ex-coach Phil Jackson received the loudest cheers of the night, while franchise legend Michael Jordan didn’t attend the event but submitted a video message. Krause is blamed for breaking up the 1990s Bulls, who won six titles during the decade, a point that was emphasized in “The Last Dance” documentary.

“I’m devastated for Thelma and for the Krause family,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who was part of those title teams. “I cannot believe that the fans — and you have to understand, when you hear boos, it’s not all of them. The fans who booed, they know who they are. To me, it’s absolutely shameful, and I’m devastated by that. Whether people liked Jerry or not … we’re here to celebrate that team. Jerry did an amazing job building that team. … And I’m so disappointed in the fans — and I want to be specific because there were lots of fans who I’m sure did not boo. But those who booed, they should be ashamed.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Jevon Carter, a free agent addition last summer, appears to have fallen out of the Bulls‘ rotation, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Carter got his second straight DNP-CD against Golden State on Friday as second-year guard Dalen Terry was used ahead of him.
  • Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith was able to play after being listed as questionable Friday night, but he will miss Sunday’s game at Denver due to bilateral shin soreness, according to Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. Nesmith has started the last 10 games at small forward, and Dopirak notes that Indiana’s defense has improved since his move into the starting lineup.
  • After waiving Marques Bolden from their NBA roster last weekend, the Bucks have acquired his G League rights in a trade, the Wisconsin Herd announced (via Twitter). The Herd sent the rights to Gary Clark and a pair of 2024 G League draft picks to Salt Lake City in exchange for the 25-year-old center.

2017 Basketball Hall Of Fame Class Announced

The 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame class was announced this afternoon on ESPN2 (link). Tracy McGrady, Rebecca Lobo, Bill Self, Muffet McGraw, Robert Hughes, Jerry Krause, George McGinnis, Tom Jernstedt, Nikos Galis, Zack Clayton and Mannie Jackson all made the cut as inductees.

A seven-time All-Star whose career spanned 17 seasons, McGrady received the HoF nod in his first year on the ballot. T-Mac, who battled injuries throughout his career, announced his retirement following the 2012/13 season, in which he made six postseason appearances with the Spurs.

Dikembe Mutombo, a Hall-of-Famer and former teammate of McGrady’s, was overjoyed to see Tracy’s selection.

“To have two of my friends, Tracy and Yao [Ming], who competed with me for the Houston Rockets, one of the great organizations, to see them in the Hall of Fame, that means a lot,” Mutombo told Mark Berman of Fox 26. “It’s something I can sit down with my kids and tell them I was not the only Hall of Famer out there with the Houston Rockets. I was lucky and fortunate to play with the other two.”

A pioneer of the WNBA, Lobo had been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Following a successful career with the UConn Huskies, Lobo played for the New York Liberty in the WNBA’s inaugural season. Lobo would play in parts of six WNBA seasons, playing for the Houston Comets and Connecticut Sun following her time in New York.

Krause, the former Bulls’ GM, was inducted posthumously, as the former executive passed away on March 21. Serving as the Bulls’ GM for over 18 seasons, Krause is credited as the architect of Chicago’s roster during Michael Jordan’s tenure.

Former Bulls GM Jerry Krause Passes Away

Former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, the architect of Chicago’s roster during Michael Jordan‘s tenure with the franchise, passed away this afternoon, a member of his family informed K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Krause was 77 years old.

Krause, who took over as the Bulls’ GM in 1985, held that position for the next 18 years, winning six championships with the club during the 1990s. Krause, who worked in baseball before his time in the NBA, returned to Major League Baseball following his departure from the Bulls, working as a team scout for a handful of MLB teams.

As Johnson notes (via Twitter), Krause is currently a finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame in the contributor category. If Krause is inducted into the Hall of Fame, it will happen posthumously.

We send our condolences and best wishes to Krause’s family and friends.