Jerry Krause says Phil Jackson only took Knicks job ‘for the money’
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Former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause and coach Phil Jackson had a bad breakup in Chicago. That’s no secret.
So it’s with no real surprise that we take in the latest comments from Krause on Jackson, whose 10-43 Knicks are failing spectacularly.
Krause tells ESPN that Jackson only became the president of the Knicks for the paychecks.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Krause told ESPN. “I knew Phil had a bad ballclub. If [James] Dolan offered him $2 million a year or even $5 million, he wouldn’t have taken it. But $12 million is overwhelming. Phil didn’t take the job because he thought he had a playoff club. He took the job for the money.”
A league executive told ESPN that Jackson should have stepped in and forced Carmelo Anthony to have his season-ending knee surgery months ago.
Krause said he went through a similar experience in Chicago with Michael Jordan.
Back in the pre-Jackson days in Chicago, after a young Jordan broke his foot early in the 1985-86 season, Krause and owner Jerry Reinsdorf fought hard to keep the second-year shooting guard off the floor. Jordan missed 64 games before returning in mid-March on a tight minutes restriction.
“Michael wanted to keep playing, and we had some heated arguments about it,” Krause recalled. “Michael knew his body probably better than any athlete I’ve ever known, but we had five doctors saying he shouldn’t play and so we wouldn’t allow it. We had to protect the player.
“Carmelo is a veteran who knows his body, but Phil should have the final authority. When you delay the surgery like this, the doctors had better do a hell of a job. If the player comes out of it and he’s not the same, then you’ve really got a problem.”
A reconciliation between the former Bulls colleagues doesn’t seem to be on the horizon.