Jerry Krause says Michael Jordan “never came to me and asked for other players”


The weird battle between LeBron James and Charles Barkley has been a topic for what seems like forever. After LeBron’s comments that the Cleveland Cavaliers needed to improve their roster, Barkley publicly dragged on the Cavaliers star for the method in which he called for those improvements.

It seemed as though the dust may have finally settled, with Barkley making a somber declaration of his right to an opinion even as he dropped a couple f-bombs while telling the “haters” what the score was at a nightclub.

Meanwhile, the conversation appears ready to continue after former Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause told Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski on his podcast that Michael Jordan never made any kind of similar request to LeBron’s.

Via Yahoo! (29:30)

But I will say one thing for Michael Jordan … never came to me and asked for other players. He never came to me and asked me to draft a player. Never came to me and asked to trade for a player. Never once did that happen. Part of it was he thought he was so darn good he could win without ’em … He understood what we had to do as an organization.

That’s not strictly true, by many reports. Jordan famously made requests for UNC players throughout his career, and was pretty vocal about wanting the Bulls roster to get better.

In fact, in Sam Smith’s book “The Jordan Rules” there’s a pretty explicit version of these events, with Jordan on record saying he was going to bypass Krause and go straight to owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

Via Washington Post and h/t u/TheTupperwareGang:

(After learning that NBA veteran and former North Carolina Tar Heel Walter Davis had been traded to Portland and not the Bulls, Jordan responded before a game against the Nets: “As soon as we get back, I’m calling {Jerry} Reinsdorf. Krause has messed everything up again. He can’t do anything.”

(Two days after that, Jordan had taken off after Krause again. “If I were general manager, we’d be a better team.”)

Reinsdorf had been obligated to respond publicly, and the situation clearly made him uncomfortable, though his support for Krause was unequivocal. “Michael Jordan,” said Reinsdorf, “is undoubtedly the greatest player that ever lived. He’s probably one of the three greatest competitors of all time in any sport, the other two being Jake LaMotta and Muhammad Ali. Guys you had to kill to beat. Michael’s like that.

“But he’s still a player and, quite frankly, players don’t know a whole lot about coaching, and they don’t know a whole lot about what it takes to make a deal. If Michael knew what we tried to accomplish and the pitfalls and problems we ran into {trying to obtain Walter Davis}, he probably wouldn’t feel as frustrated. But he doesn’t, and we can’t sit and explain to every player what moves we are trying to make. And we cannot single out one player and make him consultant to the general manager.”

So technically Krause is correct, if we’re saying MJ always went over his head so he never asked him directly?

It was only a matter of time before LeBron’s request got compared to Jordan in some way, and the countdown to revisionist history of Jordan in that comparison started soon after. It came quicker than we thought here, and from Krause no less!

I said I didn’t think the LeBron/Barkley dust was going to fully settle after Barkley’s surprisingly level-headed approach, and invoking MJ is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about. I’m already bored with this entire back-and-forth.

Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo doubtful with ankle injury for Bulls game

AP Photo/Morry Gash
Leave a comment

MILWAUKEE (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks say Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful for Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls with a sprained right ankle.

The All-Star forward got hurt in the second quarter of a 127-120 loss on Wednesday to the Los Angeles Clippers when he appeared to trip over teammate Shabazz Muhammad under the Bucks’ basket.

Antetokounmpo is fourth in the league in scoring at 27.3 points a game.


Anfernee Simons declares for NBA draft straight out of high school (kind of)

AP Photo/Gregory Payan
Leave a comment

Anfernee Simons spent the last year playing high school basketball. But because he did so as a fifth-year prep after technically graduating from high school last year and turns 19 in June, he’s eligible for the NBA draft.

Following a path taken by Thon Maker and considered by Jonathan Isaac, Simons – as expected – is turning pro.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN:

Anfernee Simons will forgo his collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2018 NBA draft, he informed ESPN.

Simons informed ESPN that he will sign with agent Bobby Petriella of Rosenhaus Sports Representation

Simons looks like a mid-first-rounder, though his range is quite wide considering how large of a jump he’s making. Teams can learn relatively more about him in workouts and interviews.

A 6-foot-4 shooting guard who specializes in scoring, Simons is quick on his feet with a quick release off the dribble – with range from beyond the 3-point arc to an impressive floater game. Those floaters will be important, because Simons isn’t nearly strong enough for the NBA. He’s also a lackluster passer, though because of physicality concerns, no team will count on Simons to run an offense anytime soon, anyway. He’ll have time to develop as a distributor.

By signing with agents, Simons loses his college eligibility. Drew Rosenhaus, a big-name football agent, isn’t certified with the National Basketball Players Association. Petriella’s only NBA client has been Diamond Stone, a 2016 second-rounder who’s out of the league. They’re all in this bold venture together now.

As the NBA considers changing its draft rules for young prospects, Simons will be an interesting case study. He obviously meets the draft-eligibility requirements in the one-and-done era, but he’s also jumping from prep-school competition to the NBA. The league’s strength and nutrition programs should serve him well. His overall development could influence the wider debate.

For third time in career, Dwight Howard suspended for technical fouls

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Leave a comment

In the midst of his historic 32-point, 30-rebound game, Dwight Howard picked up a technical foul for arguing about an uncalled foul when his shot was blocked.


Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard has been suspended one game without pay for receiving his 16th technical foul of the 2017-18 season, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Five players have been suspended 11 times under NBA’s current technical-foul policy, which went into effect before the 2005-06 season and suspends players one game for their 16th technical and another game for every other subsequent tech each season.

The full list of suspensions:

  • Rasheed Wallace 2006-07
  • Rasheed Wallace 2006-07
  • Stephen Jackson 2008-09
  • Dwight Howard 2010-11
  • Dwight Howard 2010-11
  • DeMarcus Cousins 2013-14
  • Blake Griffin 2013-14
  • DeMarcus Cousins 2015-16
  • DeMarcus Cousins 2016-17
  • DeMarcus Cousins 2016-17
  • Dwight Howard 2017-18

The Hornets are already out of the playoff race, and Howard will serve the suspension against the tanking Grizzlies tonight. He loses $162,069 in salary, but the effects of this suspension are relatively minimal.

However, Howard will miss his first game this season. Playing all 82 games would have been quite an accomplishment at this stage of his career.

Report: Kawhi Leonard didn’t give inquiring Spurs teammates a return date or guarantee he will play this season

AP Photo/Eric Gay
Leave a comment

The Spurs reportedly held a players-only meeting to implore Kawhi Leonard to play. He reportedly defended his missing games due to injury. Even if his teammates believed his extended absence was justified, they surely wanted to know when it would end.

Apparently, they didn’t get an answer.

Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News:

According to sources, Leonard, who was caught off guard by the meeting, stood his ground. He spoke up telling his teammates that a return was still the goal. But Leonard offered no set date or guarantee about a return this season.

Leonard did receive support from some teammates, urging him not to return until he feels healthy enough, sources told the Express-News.
The meeting lasted roughly five to 10 minutes with no clear update on Leonard’s plans.

Leonard previously told teammates he planned to return to play, according to Danny Green (who, incidentally, denied the ESPN report). Later, Leonard said he planned to play soon. But despite reportedly targeting a return a week ago, he remains out.

No matter how hard anyone pushes, nobody can seem to get a straight answer – which only adds frustration.

Some teammates are apparently more understanding than others, though. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN characterized the meeting as “tense and emotional at times” with teammates “expressing frustration and confusion.” Young adds Leonard “did receive support from some teammates, urging him not to return until he feels healthy enough.”

I’m sure everyone wants Leonard back only once he’s healthy enough, but that’s a vague standard. The Spurs have reportedly cleared him. Leonard and his own medical team haven’t. It wouldn’t be surprising if his teammates are also divided on whether or not Leonard should play.

When will he deem himself ready? If this meeting didn’t yield an answer, I don’t know what will.