Who has heard more? "Nobody," he says, proudly.
Scouting, Krause believes, is at the root of everything in big league sports, like Atlas holding the world. Krause scouts, as one writer recently stated, "much the way an out-of-control industrial fire scouts all the oxygen in a warehouse." Overwhelmingly, meticulously, fanatically. If Krause sees a kid he likes, one who has the stuff, one who—god forbid—almost nobody else knows about, he falls in love with him, head over heels. He becomes a stalker tracking a starlet.
When he first saw Scottie Pippen, then a skinny forward from uncharted Central Arkansas, at a postseason tournament for prospective NBA players in Portsmouth, Va., before the 1987 draft, he became delirious. "I almost had an orgasm looking at him," he says. Even before Pippen had taken off his warmups, Krause hissed to then-Bull scout Billy McKinney, who had already seen Pippen, "There he is! There he is!"
"How do you know?" said McKinney.
"Look at his arms!" cried Krause.
"You said he had long arms. They're down to freaking here!"
Pippen, who, of course, has gone on to become a three-time All-Star for Chicago, had everything Krause seeks in a player—talent, physique, obscurity. "What Jerry likes most is to find a player from a small school, so he can call him his own," says one rival general manager, "it feeds his basic insecurity."
"My whole definition of Krause is that he favors the underdog," says Michael Jordan, who was drafted by the Bulls the year before Krause arrived. "He wants that diamond in the rough. I figure that he had a tough childhood, that he was always picked on, and this is his way of compensating, of becoming someone."
That this oddly consumed and swollen little man—he stands less than 5'6" and weighs about 220 pounds—should be linked inextricably with perhaps the most athletic pro basketball team of all time is at once ironic and fitting.
Ironic because no man could be less like an elite NBA player than Krause (a golf ball among graphite-shafted two-irons comes to mind); fitting because no man has wanted to be a successful NBA general manager more than Krause has. If hard work is rewarded in this life, Krause is living proof of it.