When I saw the HBO show Game Of Thrones last spring, I jumped all over it. It was so good. Now, I’m reading the books and even after nearly four novels and 4,000-something pages, the story is still just as crazy and just as good. Yet once I finish them, I won’t be reopening the novels for some time because of how long, taxing and consuming they’ve been. But there are a few specific books that I could read over and over… and every one of them has to do with the Chicago Bulls and more specifically, Michael Jordan. I can literally read one, and the moment I turn that final page to finish, I can go back to the beginning and start all over again. “The Jordan Rules”. “Playing For Keeps”. “Second Coming”.

Some of the stories from those books are common knowledge. Some aren’t.

Over at The Basketball Jones, they posted excerpts today from an email from some guy who supposedly had dinner with former Bulls assistant Johnny Bach (I know. Doesn’t that sound like the ultimate “He said that she said that he heard that she saw…?”). Those excerpts spoke of MJ and Scottie Pippen and the rest of the Chicago Bulls teams from the early-to-mid-90s.

The Bulls old GM Jerry Krause once famously said that front offices win championships and not teams. That statement pretty much summed up the portrait he was given in every major Bulls book: he was a loner, someone no one liked and someone who thought a little too highly of himself and not enough of others. While MJ famously loathed the exec, this excerpt claims why Bach didn’t like Krause:

After the Bulls lost to the Knicks in 94, the Hue Hollins game as Johnny referred to it. There was a meeting 10 days after the season. All the coaches and management were in the room. Krause wanted to trade Scottie Pippen. He said he quit on the team and they didn’t want him around anymore. Johnny was the supreme voice against trading Scottie. He said he made a mistake, we all make mistakes. Krause wanted to put it to a vote – trading Pippen. Johnny called out everyone in the room saying, “if this needs to be put to a vote you’re all idiots.” They decided against it. A few weeks went by and Johnny and Krause sat down to talk new contract. Krause told him there wouldn’t be a new contract. He didn’t want Johnny around anymore. Johnny is as old school as they come. He told Krause, “you gave me your word.” (Which in Johnny’s day, your word is everything). Krause told him, “Show me that in writing.” Needless to say, Johnny despises Jerry Krause and didn’t hold his feelings back. Krause has tried to apologize to him over the years, but Johnny has always said to him, “don’t say a f’ing word to me.” So when I asked Johnny, “So all this stuff we’ve heard about Jordan, Phil, Pip hating Krause…” Johnny replied, “It’s all true.” Of all the people Johnny talked about, he definitely spoke with the most disdain about Krause.

Sounds about right. Krause famously nearly traded Pippen a few times, once for Shawn Kemp and another time for Tracy McGrady. It was also written that B.J. Armstrong was incredibly sensitive (we know this), and that Bill Cartwright was the perfect counter to MJ & ‘Pip (we know this). Speaking of Jordan and Pippen:

Who was the better defender? Pippen was one of the best and most gifted defenders of all time. But MJ was the better defender. Michael could shut down anyone in the world for a 3 minute span. The best he’s ever seen. (I was pretty shocked by that, but man what does that tell you about MJ, unbelievable.) Jordan was the most ferocious competitor Bach has seen in all his years of basketball. Johnny said physically Jordan and Pippen were about the same as defenders. But when you add in MJ’s ruthlessness and trash talk, that put him ahead of Scottie. When Johnny was coaching with the Hornets in 1995 they had a good team. Glen Rice, Mourning, Johnson. Series was tied at 2 and Hornets had a chance to win game 5 in Chicago. On the biggest possession of the game, Mugsy had the ball with the Hornets down 1. Jordan backed off of him and told him: “shoot it you f—— midget.” Mugsy shot it, didn’t come close. A year later Mugsy actually told Johnny Bach that he believes that single play ruined his career. His shot never recovered.

The excerpt was telling all kinds of stories (some that you need to read the original post to believe), including this one about Jordan and Charles Barkley:

Story #1 – The day before game 4 of the Bulls Suns finals with the Bulls leading the series 2-1. Michael and Charles Barkley went golfing. They played 48 holes of golf. And Michael bought Charles a $20,000 diamond earring. Johnny asked MJ, “what did you do all that for?” Michael responded, “he won’t get in my way the rest of the series, what’s $20,000 to me? Charles thinks we’re great friends. I hate that fat f—.” Jordan dropped 55 in game 4 and Barkley never touched him once.

Bach also apparently said he thinks LeBron won’t be anything until he has a post game, that a shooter’s touch can’t be taught (I believe that) even though Derrick Rose‘s improvement has impressed him and that this could be the year Oklahoma City wins it all. He called Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, Scott Brooks and Tom Thibodeau the game’s best coaches while he called Doug Collins someone who saw so much of the game that it was almost too much. Collins, remember, is famous for being overly emotional and straining his players because of how much he puts in to every play, every possession and every game.

To read the post in its entirety, go here. Again, this isn’t exactly coming from a known source.

Is all of this completely verified? No. Is it true? Who knows. Could it be? Absolutely. Does it matter one way or another? Not really, because we already have so many stories about the Bulls and Jordan and Pippen and Krause that what is one or two more? I know I’ll read them.

What do you think?

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