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Jerry Krause, GM during Chicago Bulls six championships, passes away at 77

Jerry Krause, the former general manager of the Chicago Bulls during their dynastic reign over the NBA in the early and mid 90s, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 77,  according to The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson. Krause had been battling health problems for the last several years, including osteomyelitis, which is a rare and serious bone infection. The Bulls confirmed Johnson’s report in a press release.

“The entire Bulls organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Jerry Krause,” said Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.  “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.”

The former Bulls general manger will forever be remembered as the architect of the franchise’s six championships. He took over in 1985, the year after the Bulls drafted Michael Jordan but Krause is responsible for several of other Chicago’s strong draft picks like Scottie Pippen and Horance Grant. Krause also assembled the ideal roster to compliment Jordan, bringing in players like Steve Kerr, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc, B. J. Armstrong, Bill Cartwright, Ron Harper and Luc Longley, who all contributed to the Bulls winning six championships and being an elite team.

The former Bulls GM is also responsible for giving Phil Jackson his first coaching job in the NBA. Jackson was coaching in the Continental Basketball Association and was hired to be an assistant under Doug Cousins. After Cousins was fired, Krause promoted Jackson, who guided the Bulls to their six championships.

The Hall of Fame nominated Krause as a contributor to be inducted this year. If selected, it would be quite the honor for the memory of Krause, as he was instrumental to the success of the Bulls as a franchise.

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