Charles Barkley ripped Chicago Bulls fans on Monday night over the way they treated Thelma Krause during the team’s Ring of Honor ceremony last week, causing the widow of Jerry Krause to cry.
Krause, the architect of the Bulls dynasty who passed away in 2017, was shown on the video board of the United Center, and boos came down from the crowd. Thelma Krause appeared to be visibly upset with the crowd’s reaction.
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Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman did not show up for the ceremony either.
Barkley said his peace during Monday night’s slate of games on TNT.
“What happened in Chicago the other night was a disgrace,” Barkley said. “It was a flatout disgrace. … Having his wife cry like that, that was wrong on so many levels. Michael, Scottie and Dennis not showing up – that was wrong. It was a disgrace to the legacy of the Chicago Bulls. They’ve always been a great, great organization.
“Not to have the greatest player in your organization there. You won six championships and Dennis and Scottie … First of all, I don’t why you would put a hundred guys in the Ring of Honor anyway, that’s just stupid. But what those fans did to Mrs. Krause, that was not cool. Everybody involved owe that lady an apology.
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“Whether you like Jerry Krause or not, that man’s dead. His wife is there, and ya’ll made that lady cry and that was total BS. … That hurt my heart watching that thing.”
Krause was responsible for putting together the Chicago teams that won six NBA championships in the 1990s.
Bulls president and CEO Michael Reinsdorf released a statement after the game, saying Krause deserved to be respected.
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“Jerry Krause is a six-time NBA champion and two-time NBA Executive of the Year,” Reinsdorf said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for his accomplishments and is an important part of our history. His legacy deserves to be celebrated and respected. We were incredibly honored to have Thelma with us this evening to recognize Jerry as a member of the inaugural Chicago Bulls Ring of Honor.”
Fox News’ Joe Morgan contributed to this report.
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