Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Wayne Embry wasn’t happy about the way former Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause was portrayed in ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” the 10-part documentary on the final season of the Michael Jordan-led Bulls.
“(The documentary) is a cheap shot when it comes to Jerry,” Embry said. “Jerry was very good at his job. Once you got to know him, he was a decent guy.”
Krause was responsible for putting the right pieces alongside Jordan and helped turn the Bulls into the best team in the NBA during the 1990s.
“Jerry was ahead of his time,” said Embry. “He had tremendous relationships with coaches at smaller schools. He would want to meet a prospect’s parents. Part was to get to know the family, but also to look at how the player’s father was built physically. He thought that was a way to gauge how the young player will look when fully grown.”
Former Cavaliers broadcaster Joe Tait didn’t watch the documentary, but he wasn’t happy about the way Krause was portrayed either.
“I didn’t see it,” Tait told Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. “But people have been asking me about Jerry. I guess they have made him out to be the worst man on the face of the earth.”
Pluto got to know Krause while covering the Cavaliers for the Akron Beacon Journal during an era when the Bulls and Cavaliers would play each other six times during the regular season.
“Sometimes, you sensed he was a man looking for a friend,” said Tait. “I think he knew we were glad to talk to him. We weren’t going to put him down.
“I liked Jerry. It bothers me to hear how he has been portrayed on ESPN.”
Krause, who died in 2017, was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame posthumously shortly after his death.