The Chicago Bulls have yet to bring home a Championship since Michael Jordan's departure in 1998, but it hasn't been for a lack of trying on the part of former GM Jerry Krause. Embued a rather remarkable level of confidence, Krause got rid of anyone who dared go against him and famously stressed the importance of his role to the team over that of players and coaches.
Ultimately, it was he who ended the 90s dynasty. After firing coach Phil Jackson, Jordan retired for the second time and Scottie Pippen was traded to Houston.
During this post-MJ era, Krause was committed to proving he could win without the Bulls superstar. In fact, when Ron Artest joined the team as a rookie in 1999, Krause made a pretty bold declaration.
“For me, it’s like Jerry drafted me after Michael Jordan (played there), so for me, the Bulls were my favorite team,” Artest explained to Sam Amick and Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “I played with them all the time on the video games, so as a 19-year-old kid, I’m like, ‘Wow,’ right? And then Jerry told me one day — I love Jerry — Jerry is like, ‘Ron, we’re gonna get (championship) No. 7, and you’re gonna be here, and it’s gonna just destroy those other six titles. Jerry would always say that. ‘No. 7 is the most important one…’”
Clearly, Krause thought it would be easy for the Bulls to win another Chip so long as he was at the helm.
Needless to say, he missed the mark on that one. Artest played just two-and-a-half seasons in Chicago before he got traded the Pacers. As for the Bulls, they weren't really relevant until the rise of Derrick Rose in the 2010s. But that era was long after Krause retired and, even then, they don't really have much to show for it.
The fact is, Michael Jordan was the best thing to ever happen to the Bulls -- even if some refuse to believe it.