Jerry Kraus

For Tex Winter, Krause and Jackson put aside feud

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UPDATE 8:02 pm: Tex Winter got his wish — just before the start of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony was about to start Phil Jackson and Jerry Krause shook hands, according to a tweet from K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

The two men there for Tex Winter sat three seats apart from each other and reportedly were cordial.

1:38 pm: Tex Winter — former college coach of the year, triangle offense architect and the right hand man of Phil Jackson — is finally getting his place in the Hall of Fame. A much deserved honor.

It’s a bittersweet moment as a stroke a couple years back has robbed Winter of so much. Friday night when introduced at the Hall of Fame press conference he insisted on speaking but could barely string together a sentence. For anyone who had spoken to the razor sharp Winter before, it was heartbreaking.

But when Jerry Krause — the GM of the Bulls through their heyday — met with Winter earlier this year, Winter was able to express one wish to Kraus, something he wanted on his enshrinement weekend. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo takes it from there.

Winter wants the two men to whom he’s most indebted – Krause and Phil Jackson – to rise above years of acrimony and simply shake hands. It’s been a long time, too long, and Krause will grudgingly do it for a simple reason.

“For Tex, I would jump off a building,” Krause told Yahoo! Sports. “I’ve seen Phil walking down the opposite side of the hallway, and I’ve kept right on going past him. I’ve never stopped. But for Tex, yeah … I’ll do it.”

Krause was a punching bag for Jackson and Michael Jordan, everyone trying to grab shares of credit for the Bulls dynasty years as if it were a zero-sum game. The fact is Krause does deserve credit — he brought those players together. He got Pippen, he brought in Rodman and Kukoc and Paxson and Kerr and all the others that played key roles over the years.

Go read Woj’s entire story, filled with good insight on how those Bulls came together. It’s interesting stuff.

And we hope that Tex Winter can get his wish on the night of his Hall of Fame enshrinement.