Fans boo Jerry Krause as Bulls celebrate Ring of Honor inductees


CHICAGO (CBS) – The Bulls on Friday night celebrated their first-ever Ring of Honor class on Friday night at the United Center, and the event took a turn for the ugly when fans booed the name of one of the honorees — the late general manager Jerry Krause.

The class includes 13 inductees, and the entire 1995-96 Bulls team — which set a league record with 72 wins on the way to the franchise’s fourth NBA championship.

The ceremony included a beautiful display filled with pieces of history in the atrium at the UC.

Each inductee received a crystal basketball designed by world-renowned artist Victor Solomon.

A lot of Bulls legends were present to be honored on the United Center floor – including championship-era Head Coach Phil Jackson and forward Toni Kukoč, who were honored both individually and as part of the 1995-96 team.

Also present were most of the other members of the 1995-96 team roster – Randy Brown, Jud Buechler, Jason Caffey, Ron Harper, Luc Longley, John Salley, Dickey Simpkins, and Bill Wennington – along of course with Steve Kerr, who was also there to coach the Golden State Warriors Friday night. Other honorees – including 60s and 70s-ear Bulls star Bob Love – also joined them on the floor.

But those hoping Jordan and former teammate Scottie Pippen would be at the event were disappointed. Neither was able to attend.

Dennis Rodman also posted a video saying he had planned to be there, but the inclement weather Friday prevented him from being able to go.

The ceremony felt incomplete without Jordan, Pippen, or Rodman there – and while Coach Jackson got the loudest ovation of the night form fans, the late Krause was booed by fans when his name was announced.

The booing clearly affected Krause’s widow, Thelma – and some former players weren’t thrilled either.

“First of all, fans, we don’t boo Jerry Krause,” said Harper. “The man’s done a lot of great things here. He may not be your favorite person, but we cheer to respect the man.”

Harper said while he was not pleased with the fans booing the late Krause, the ceremony as a whole was “awesome.” Jackson told CBS 2 Sports Director Marshall Harris he was “overwhelmed.”

The Ring of Honor ceremony was all the brainchild of Bulls president Jerry Reinsdorf, who admitted it’s been a long time coming.

“There’s a lot of people that maybe don’t necessarily get their jersey number retired. That’s not all that matters to our organization,” Reinsdorf said. “It’s about other things and for us, it’s about honoring everyone. To me, this Ring of Honor is more important than anything else we’ve ever done.”

Each inductee had an essay penned about them. Former President Barack Obama wrote the essay honoring Michael Jordan.



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