The Bulls Ring of Honor celebrations were somewhat marred by the fans that decided to boo the late Jerry Krause with his widow present, which brought her to tears.
At halftime of their game against the Warriors, the Bulls welcomed the inaugural class of their 13 members into the Ring of Honor.
The team also decided to honor the late Krause, who put together six championship teams in the 1990s.
But the crowd at United Center booed loudly when his name was announced.
His wife, Thelma, was there representing her husband and was visibly upset with the boos as she was shown on the big screen.
Former Bulls GM Jerry Krause was boo'd during the team's Ring of Honor ceremony at halftime.
His wife Thelma, who appeared in his place, was captured on the big screen and visibly emotional during the booing.pic.twitter.com/7zLAtOTZvc
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) January 13, 2024
Former Bulls players and current NBC Sports Chicago analyst Stacey King said the boos were the worst thing he’s ever seen.
“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,” King said via ESPN. “I hurt for that lady. Brought her to tears, and whoever booed her in this arena should be ashamed of themselves.”
Current Bulls player DeMar DeRozan was asked about to booing after the game.
“It just sucks their family had to endure something like that,” DeRozan said. “You can never take away what he created. Without Jerry, there wouldn’t be the historic Chicago Bulls history. You gotta give him credit for as long as basketball is around.”
There is of course a long history between Krause and the Bulls fans, and one reason for his dislike is the way he treated head coach Phil Jackson.
Krause told Jackson at the beginning of the 1997-1998 season that his contract would not be renewed, after he brought six championships to the team in eight seasons.
Many Bulls fans also believe that Krause forced Jordan into retirement.
The booing of Krause represents the tip of the iceberg of dysfunction at the organization – then and now.
Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman didn’t even bother to show up.