‘Spin master’ Phil Jackson was the real villain, not Jerry Krause, says Skip Bayless

Phil Jackson Michael Jordan
Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Skip Bayless followed the final season of the Bulls dynasty closely as he was a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. According to him, the last episodes of ‘The Last Dance’ docuseries revealed what he has been preaching for a long time – Phil Jackson was the real reason why the dynasty ended.

The documentary previously revealed that Jackson gave the name ‘The Last Dance’ to the 1997-98 Bulls season. But it wasn’t because of Jerry Krause, who was the general manager at the time. Bayless thinks that Chicago’s coach had already decided before the season to leave the Bulls. He went even further to suggest that Jackson could have had ‘some kind of handshake deal’ with the Lakers.

This theory is further supported by Krause’s unfinished memoir in which he says Jackson informed the front office before the season even began that he wanted to take a year off.

“This was a bombshell. This incriminated Phil Jackson as the real villain, not Jerry Krause. I’m convinced Phil Jackson already had some kind of handshake deal with the Lakers,” Bayless said, calling Phil Jackson a ‘spin master’.

After announcing he would never return to coaching in 1998 following departure from the Bulls, Jackson took the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching job in 1999. He coached the Lakers to three NBA championships in 2000-2002.

After the 2003-04 season he took a year off. Jackson released a book titled ‘The Last Season’ in the fall of 2004. But he returned again to coaching the Lakers the following season. He won two more titles in 2009 and 2010.

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