"We have some Jewish ownership, and...." He does not need to explain more. Can this really be, considering Krause's heritage and past, or is this a joke?
"People have said that if Canaris had been an American, there never would have been a Second World War," Krause continues. "He would have known everything there was to know before it happened."
Krause gestures at his only window, which opens not to the outdoors but to the sacred basketball court below. "This is like an intelligence agency," he says. "If it's not, you're not doing your job right. It's an inexact science you're trying to make exact. My scouts never talk to other scouts about players. That's a rule!"
But why the secrecy about things that hardly matter? Why, for instance, treat the fact that forward Joe Courtney is being brought up from the CBA Sioux Falls Skyforce on a 10-day contract to replace the injured Scott Williams as though it is a matter of national security?
Krause quickly launches into a tale of how a Chicago Cub scout once told a Cincinnati Red scout about a little-known, unpolished prospect, a catcher somewhere out in the boondocks who was subsequently drafted by the Reds. The catcher was Johnny Bench. "That changed the course of history," Krause says, somberly, "it I'd said anything about Scottie Pippen before the 1987 draft, I never would have been able to make the trade with the Seattle SuperSonics that got him here."
Still, why should the Bulls perform the high-security act with a projected backup center like Will Perdue of Vanderbilt? Perdue was brought to Chicago before the 1988 draft and picked up at O'Hare Airport by McKinney, who called Krause from his car phone and said, "This is Agent Blue calling Agent Orange. The package has been picked up and is in the process of being delivered." Perdue was then transported to a hotel, where he was picked up by Krause for a late-night workout at the Multiplex, the health club where the Bulls then practiced. When Krause pulled into the Multiplex parking lot, he slammed on the brakes and threw the car into reverse, terrifying Perdue, and raced off the lot because he had seen a sportswriter leaving the building.
Krause drove around the Multiplex a few times until he was sure it was closed. He then took Perdue in for his test. After that he drove back to the hotel, where the 7-foot Perdue was registered under a fake name, told Perdue to leave the next morning without checking out and to depart in a cab that would be sent for him. Unfortunately, Perdue forgot he was using an alias and watched in bewilderment the next morning as a cabbie wandered the lobby, repeatedly yelling for a fictional customer. "It was quite an ordeal," recalls Perdue. "I thought this was normal in the NBA, but then I went to other teams and realized it wasn't. The last thing Krause had said to me was, 'Don't tell anybody anything.' "
The trouble for Krause is that leaks are everywhere. And Krause hates leaks. Though he denies it, he has threatened to fire any or all of his coaches if he finds out they are feeding any intelligence to the media. Jackson has talked to Krause and tried to explain to him what is worth getting worked up about and what is not.
"I've told him that writers can help us," Jackson says. "All I want him to know is that it doesn't have to be adversarial, that it can be a sparring match but not a war."
But war it is. At least between Krause and the Chicago beat writers. He detests almost all of them for printing "so many lies," he says. When the Tribune's second-year Bull reporter Melissa Isaacson wrote a column recently that Krause disapproved of, he greeted her at the next game by saying, "You've joined the club now, you're one of the assholes." But his most vocal loathing is reserved for Smith, whose 1992 best-seller about the Bulls, The Jordan Rules, painted Krause and many of the players in an unfavorable light. "He has wished death on Sam," says another beat writer.