Jerry Krause and Michael Jordan should have had a pretty good relationship. After all, both figures were key to the success of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. Krause took over the Chicago Bulls as general manager in 1985, after Jordan's rookie year. And he was instrumental in building the team that ended up dominating the NBA during the 1990s.
As for Jordan, there are almost no words left to describe the work he did for the Bulls, transforming them from a fledgling team in the 80s, to become the most dominant team in the NBA by the end of the 1990s. And he had some of the most incredible accomplishments in his career while he was becoming the greatest of all time. Jordan and Krause were pivotal figures for the Bulls, but never truly got along.
Despite their tension, Krause was more than willing to give credit to Jordan and be honest about his role in team building. In an interview from 2017, Jerry Krause noted that while he was the general manager, Jordan never asked him to sign, trade for, or draft another player, mostly because he knew how great he was, and thought he could do things no one else could.
Michael also- the arrogance that he carried with him was a plus. Because he knew he could do things other people couldn't do. It was a difference between us. But I will say one thing for Michael Jordan. He 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.
The differences between the two were quite significant, as we know now. Jordan did not respect Jerry Krause, and Krause often felt slighted and taken for granted, as he felt it was the team that he helped put together with the right coach in Phil Jackson that provided Jordan the vehicle to win the championships that he did in the 1990s.
While Krause and Jordan surely had their differences, there is no denying the great work they did during their time in Chicago. Jordan was the leader of the greatest dynasty in NBA history. And Krause had a monumental role in putting together the team that would end up becoming a dynasty.
Although, he was a big reason why the team collapsed the way they did after 1998 and why Jordan left. Krause was adamant about replacing Phil Jackson and the Bulls' older players to begin a rebuild, something MJ refused to do, and so he chose to retire. Magic Johnson has even accused Krause of destroying the Bulls dynasty.