Friday, December 30, 2016

Movie Review - Rogue One (A Star Wars Story)

  I went to see 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' on the day after Christmas with my neighbor Don. Originally, the entire family was going to see the film but one by one everyone dropped out leaving Don and I to go alone. The movie has won its first two weekends and the early (12:50) show on Monday had a sizable crowd of over 40 moviegoers mostly made up of young adults.

  I’ve never been a huge fan of the Star Wars franchise. It always seemed light on action and heavy on artificially induced dramatics (replete with music). When it was on, the results could be breathtaking. The opening half hour of ‘Return of the Jedi’ is some of the best filmmaking I’ve ever seen. But for every great scene or great character like Jabba The Hut, Yoda, of my personal favorite Admiral Akbar there seemed to be hours of silliness with chattering droids, whining simians like Chewbacca and my least favorite characters the insufferable Ewoks who somehow manage to defeat an empire squadron by using giant logs they must have spent years chewing into battering rams and such. As great as the beginning of ‘Return of the Jedi’ was the Ewoks and the transformation of Luke Skywalker from a dynamic young Jedi to whining brat begging his daddy (Darth Vader) to save him made the second half of the movie unwatchable.

  Instead of continuing the Star Wars saga after the third movie, creator George Lucas decided to make his next trilogy the prequel to the first three movies so that movie #1 (Star Wars) was really movie #4, Movie #6 was really #3, and so on… If you get it good for you because it confuses me so much I can’t discuss these movies because I still think of the first movie as the first movie. After the second trilogy the Disney corporation bought the rights to the Star Wars franchise and is remaking the Star Wars universe in its own image with enough Easter eggs for the diehard fans but also bringing the story line forward with new characters and presumably enough marketing power to rival the comic book franchises of Marvel and DC for decades to come.

  ‘Rogue One’ takes place a little before the start of the original Star Wars movie which is either the first or the fourth in the series depending on your world view. In the beginning our protagonist is Mads Mikkelsen who normally plays the baddest of bad guys from the title character in the Hannibal television serues to Le Chiffre in the Casino Royale James Bond film and Kaecilius in the recent Doctor Strange movie. In this film Mads plays Galen Erso, the lead engineer of the famous planet-destroying ‘Death Star’ who has run away from the Empire. Since Erso is key to completing the project he is hunted down and forced back to the project but not before he manages to squirrel away his daughter in the care of rebel Saw Gerrera (played by Forest Whitaker in his normal contemplative to the point of somnambulant manner).

  We then flash forward to the present time of the move which is really long ago and far away when the daughter Jyn Erso is captured by the rebel alliance in the hopes of forging an alliance with Gerrara. Jyn agrees to try to set up a meeting and is escorted by a team led by Cassian Andor, a rebel captain and one of the few biped humanoids in the entire movie that doesn’t speak with an English accent with vaguely Shakespearean intonations. Along the way the pair pick up some allies on a planet hopping journey to three separate planets to meet up with Jyn’s father and the Empire’s recordkeeping planet in order to steal the plans for the Death Star to find the fatal flaw built into it by Jyn’s father.

  I liked this movie a lot more than I thought I would. There was all kinds of action on each of the planets with hand to hand combat, spaceship battles, those camel type machines, and even a guest appearance by Darth Vader himself. Vader was awesomely menacing as he cut down rebels with his light saber and keeps his allies in line by causing them to be unable to breathe with the slightest gesture and warning them not to ‘choke on their ambitions’. What I didn’t miss from the other Star Wars movies I’ve seen was inane filler masking itself as political intrigue and the idiotic droids that are meant to provide comic relief. One of the main characters is a droid (K-2SO) which had predictably idiotic dialog but at least it was a battle droid that was a fighter. There was one piece of idiocy that I really enjoyed and that was the fish headed Admiral Raddus who leads the rebel space ship fleet and just like his predecessor Admiral Ackbar has a knack for interrupting the battles with a close up of his giant fish head to state some obvious point and then it’s back to the action. The Admiral has one sterling moment when he orders his ‘Hammerhead Corvette’ around to slam two Starship Destroyers into each other in a serious breach of the laws of psychics.

  The movie is a bit darker than most of the other Star Wars movies I’ve seen. The ‘Death Star’ gets to show its stuff twice and I wouldn’t advise getting too emotionally attached to many of the characters that are featured in the movie. I wonder if someday this will become thought of as a seminal movie in the use of CGI instead of human actors. There are many characters from the 1977 ‘Star Wars’ movie that appear in this film as incredibly lifelike animated characters. I wonder how long it will take Disney to make it cost effective to have the leading roles in future films of the Star Wars franchise played by CGI characters that are indistinguishable from live actors. It seems to only be a matter of time when our future superstars stop getting replaced due to contract demands or old age because they don’t exist outside of a computer chip. I didn't think that would be possible a couple of years ago but that was before I saw how easily the local Wal-Mart replaced a dozen cashiers with eight scanners for self-checkout.

Friday, December 23, 2016

For Some it Has to be All or Nothing

  The 2016 edition of the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) finished this past week with the conclusion of the London Chess Classic. The tournament was won by Wesley So, whose three wins, zero losses, and six draws enabled him to finish a half point ahead of U.S. champion and current World #2 Fabiano Caruana. So won the top prize of the entire tour by virtue of his victory in the London Chess Classic and his victory in the tours’ other classical time control event (the Sinquefield Cup) along with second and fourth place finishes in the two rapid play legs of the tour in Paris and Belgium. This year’s tour garnered far less attention than last years’ edition for one very important reason – the absence of World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

  Carlsen was allowed a wild card entry into the GCT’s two rapid events held earlier in the year but missed the Sinquefield Cup and London Chess Classic in order to defend his title against the Russian Challenger Sergey Karjakin. The championship was played in New York and received a considerable amount of mainstream press coverage. The first seven games of the 12 game match were draws. They were exciting battles with missed opportunities and skillful defense but could not be expected to retain the attention of the mainstream media which tended to put the match on the back burner until Karjakin managed to take the lead by winning game eight. Carlsen evened the score in Game ten and after two more drawn games the championship was decided in a match of four 25 minute games which was won by Carlsen. This was the second world chess championship out of the last four that was decided in a rapid tiebreak (Anand-Gelfand 2012 was the other). In the 12th and final game of the match, Carlsen had the white pieces but settled for a short draw without taking any undue risk. After winning the tiebreak match, Carlsen was lauded for having the self-awareness to realize he was more likely to retain his title by outplaying Karjakin in the tiebreak rounds rather than risk overpressing for a Game 12 win and losing which is what happened in the one game of the match he did lose. If Karjakin had won the tiebreak match and become world champion I doubt Carlsen would have been as lauded. I don’t think too much one way or the other about Carlsen’s choice because I don’t know the backstory. It’s possible that he was prepared to take more risks if Karjakin had played a different opening but perhaps was surprised in the opening and decided to bail out. No one knows and no one is telling.

  On Sunday the Tennessee Titans were trailing the Kansas City Chiefs 17-10 with 3 minutes left when they scored a touchdown to pull within one point. Instead of kicking the extra point, Titan coach Mike Mularkey decided to try to get the lead by going for a 2 point conversion instead of trying to tie the game on an extra point by kicker Ryan Succop who had made 33 of 35 extra points this season. In the first game of the season Raider’s head coach Jack Del Rio had a similar choice when his team scored a touchdown with 47 seconds left to pull within one point of the New Orleans Saints. Del Rio went for the conversion which was successful, and the Raiders won the game 35-34. The headline on this story was “Gutsy call lifts Raiders past Saints”. The call (and successful result) is seen as a masterstroke that propelled the Raiders to a 10-2 start and their best season in 15 years.

  On Sunday, Mularkey’s call didn’t look so good when the Titans failed to convert the 2 point conversion, leaving the Titans trailing by a point. The Chiefs were a first down away from running out the clock and winning the game but the Titans forced a three and out series, getting the ball back with a minute left which was just enough time to move the ball into field goal range for Succop to attempt a 53 yard field goal. The same Ryan Succop that wasn’t trusted to kick an extra point to tie the game. I think not trying to tie the game via the extra point was idiocy on Mularkey’s part. Even if the Titans had taken the lead via the two-point conversion, the Chiefs would still have gotten the ball with three minutes left which was more than enough time to attempt to retake the lead. If you tell me that Mularkey trusted his defense to stop the Chiefs and get the ball back in case the two-point conversion didn’t work I would ask if he didn’t trust his defense enough to give them a tie game to work with.

  I do have to acknowledge that Mularkey may have been on to something in not trusting his kicker. Succop missed the 53 yard field goal attempt BUT Chiefs coach Andy Reid played the ‘ice the kicker’ card and called a time out a fraction of a second before the snap. On the second attempt Succop made the field goal and Mularkey is being hailed as a genius (at least in this article).

  It is common practice for coaches and players to be judged by their results rather than the decisions leading to said results. In Game 7 of the World Series Cubs Manager Joe Maddon made several questionable decisions. He pulled his starting pitcher and catcher in the 5th inning with a three run lead and watched the replacements promptly give up two runs. Then after bringing in his closer in the 8th inning and watching him allow a game tying homer, Maddon sent him out for the 9th inning when another homer would lose the game and series. Luckily for Maddon the closer gave up no more runs, the replacement catcher hit a home run, the Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908 and Maddon’s account of the season is selling for $20 at the Hy-Vee drug store in Marshalltown.

  I didn’t think much of Maddon’s managing and Mularkey’s coaching but there was one recent risk it all decision I did agree with. The 5-8 Philadelphia Eagles were trailing the Baltimore Ravens 27-20 when they scored a touchdown with 4 seconds left in the game. Rather than kick an extra point, Eagles Coach Doug Pederson decided to go for a two-point conversion, saying after the game “I wanted to win the football game.” The two-point conversion failed and the Eagles lost the game. I don’t know if any reporter followed up with Pederson to find out if he knew that his team wouldn’t have disqualified themselves from winning by kicking the extra point but I do agree with his decision. Unlike the Titans (who are battling for a division title), the Eagles are a nothing team having a nothing year that followed up a 3-0 start by losing 8 of their next 10 games. They are going nowhere and there is no reason to not end the game as soon as possible. I tend to see Carlsen’s short draw in the final long game of the chess championship as an indication of his belief in himself while Mularkey and Pederson’s decisions to try to not get the score tied as indication of a panic move spurred by not believing their teams could outplay their opponents. The difference was Mularkey got bailed out and Pederson did not.

Friday, December 16, 2016

TV Review - The Walking Dead Season 7 Part 1


  The Walking Dead concluded the first half of its seventh season this week with our group of intrepid zombie apocalypse survivors still under the cruel thumb of super bad guy Negan and his band of Saviors but finally having found the resolve to fight back after a half-season of appeasement. The prospect seem bright for a more action-oriented second half of the season with Rick Grimes’ group of Alexandria survivors fighting a guerrilla war against the Saviors with the possibility of help from the Hilltop and Kingdom colonies.

Season 7 of The Walking Dead was almost all talk...

  Of the eight episodes in the half-season, at least half were so-called ‘bottle episodes’, named as such because they had little relation to the other episodes and could be placed almost anywhere in the season with little loss in continuity. Episodes 2 and 3 were the introduction to the Kingdom and a study in contrast between Daryl (prisoner in a cell) and Dwight (prisoner of being Negan’s right hand man) while Episode 5 showed Maggie and Sasha slowly taking over the Hilltop Colony and Episode 6 detailed Tara’s adventure in the Oceanside camp populated of all the women in a town where the men were killed by the Saviors. All four of these bottle episodes were slow moving with minimal action that could have fit in a single episode instead of 4 plus hours. The best of the breed was the Hilltop episode with the great Steven Ogg’s portrayal of Negan’s right hand man Simon displaying the mix of menace and humor that could have been a model for Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan character.

After Carl kills two of Negan's men, Negan punishes him by --- talking to him...

  Negan is the star of this half season. He gets the season started off with a bang by clubbing Abraham and Glen to death and brags about how tight he and his henchman Dwight got after Dwight took his punishment (an iron melting half his face) and gave his wife to Negan for a past transgression in episode 3. In Episode 4 Negan lords his power over Rick and the Alexandrians by rolling into the town, taking whatever he wants and making Rick thank him for not killing anyone. Episode 7 and 8 are almost all Negan. After surviving an assassination attempt by Rick’s son Carl, Negan takes Carl under his wing, showing him the benefits of his power (everyone kneels to him, he has multiple wives, he ‘irons’ another henchman’s face, etc…) and seemingly tries to strike up a friendship with the youth that just tried to kill him. Instead of killing Carl, Negan takes him to Alexandria and sets up shop in Rick’s house, even playing with Carl’s infant sister Judith. Episode 7 was 90 minutes long with most of devoted to Negan trying to show Carl how ‘cool’ it is to be Negan.

Even one of Negan's best scenes is more talk than action.

More talk surrounding some incredible action...

  Episode 8 finally brings the action that had been missing since the first episode. There is a great zombie scene as Rick and Aaron make their way to scavenge supplies from a houseboat in the middle of a zombie-infested lake. Negan finally shows some actual villainy when he guts Spencer, a member of Alexandria that suggests Negan kill Rick and put him in charge. When yet another assassination attempt goes awry, Negan interrogates the town to find out who made the handmade bullet and orders his henchmen to kill a member of the community. He gets his answer after one kill (bye bye Olivia the supply counter). This turn of events makes Rick realize that there is no appeasing Negan and he rounds up his group to get ready to fight for their freedom, hopefully in the second half of the season.

  The Walking Dead is based on the comic book of the same name. This is a great strength in that the plots are battle tested and much of the audience is already familiar with the characters. It is also a great weakness when the television show tries to follow the comics too closely. In many ways, Negan is the centerpiece of the comics, arriving in issue 100 and still a main character 60 issues later. His popularity in the comics has led the showrunners to have the television show follow the comics in an almost slavish fashion to the detriment of the show as a whole. While Negan’s wisecracks and oscillations between being a joker and a menacing figure work in the pages of the comics I don’t see any depth to the character given the extended time I had to watch him in four of the 8 episodes he was featured in. I didn’t see any method to his madness of trying to convince Daryl to be one of his soldiers and especially trying to befriend Carl after having some of his crew assassinated by him. I wonder how this went over with the savior crew to see people who murdered some of their number being recruited by the top man. The only two moments where I saw Negan as truly evil was when he suddenly killed Glenn in the season opener and when he told his henchmen to ‘kill somebody’ when none of the Alexandrians would admit to making the bullet Rosita used to try to kill him. Other than that I saw Negan as a cross between the Fonzie and Ralph Kramden of the zombie apocalypse – a cartoonish buffoon. I don’t think Negan is transferring well to television and not having the main characters in over half the episodes is no doubt the cause for the ratings falling to the lowest in four years.

If only this was the Negan we saw all season!

  What appeals to 160,000 comic book buyers may not be the ticket to keep 15 million pairs of eyeballs glued to the television set every week. I hope the showrunners will pick up on that in future episodes and show less of Negan and more of Rick Grimes and company. There is already enough comic relief on the show. The slow moving hissing and growling zombies that seem to show up out of nowhere and surprise our survivors at every turn always gets a chuckle out of me. If that wasn't enough slow moving Tara outran the gunfire of at least a dozen warriors from the Oceanside community trained on her while Carl stows away on a truck specifically to kill Negan, guns down two of the Saviors with a stolen machine gun, and with his sights trained on the big bad himself doesn’t pull the trigger. In episode 8 Daryl escapes his prison cell and is seen by Fat Joey (a Negan henchmen). Even though the two are 20 yards away from each other and Joey has a gun and Daryl a crowbar, Joey starts pleading for his life while Daryl runs up to him and beats him to death with the crowbar! There is enough comic book stuff to laugh at without having the villain of the piece spouting more one-liners than Rodney Dangerfield.

  There was just enough action and pacing in the last two episodes of the half season to keep me coming back for more Waling Dead in February but my patience is being sorely tested with the way the show has taken to focus entire episodes on minor characters while leaving the main characters unheard from for weeks at a time. It is possible that the seasons are being written not to be seen every Sunday but to be binge watched like a Netflix series. The problem is that I am watching it every week and so were seven million people less from the start to the end of the half season.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

More One Minute Madness

  After obtaining my all-time Internet Chess Club peak rating of 1620 in one-minute chess on my 56th birthday in October I turned my chess-related pursuits to earning the right to pay 30 Euros (or $33.73 USD) for my FIDE Arena International Master title which I did in November on my aborted vacation. With that accomplished in the first week in November I switched my attentions to the relatively peaceful realm of three minute chess where each side gets to think three times as long for the tradeoff of possibly being able to get only one game played in a 10 minute span instead of the possibility of playing 5 games of one minute chess. I primarily played on the FIDE website until the around 7 in the evening of Monday November 14th when I decided to play a game of three minute chess on the Internet Chess Club.

  I find three minute chess to be vastly different than the one minute variety with the biggest difference that is the games are decided mostly by the position on the board as opposed to the clock situation. Generally the more time each side has for a chess game the less mistakes are made – this means that each mistake has more influence on the final result when the mistake’s beneficiary has more time to consider their moves and keep from reciprocating. My first ICC three minute game in more than a year was going quite well. I took my time and played three minute chess instead of one minute chess until I got panicky in my opponents time trouble and choked the game away!

pgn4web chessboards courtesy of

  As you might imagine I was pretty ticked off at myself for throwing away an easily won game by reverting to a one minute chess mindset. I wanted to remove the stench of the defeat as soon as possible so I clicked the little ‘3’ button to start a new three minute game but when my game against ‘RX-MEN’ started I saw I only had one minute and I had hit the little ‘1’ button for a one minute game instead of the ‘3’ for the three minute game I wanted to play:

  And there went my one minute all time high rating on ICC without even a whimper. Whenever this happened to me in the past I would keep playing and lose so many games that my rating would fall so far that I couldn’t possibly make it up in one session and I would finally give up and wait months (or years) to reach a new all-time rating. So what did I do this time? I kept on playing but every time I lost a couple of games I’d win a game or two to prevent the downward spiral. At around 9:15 I got my rating back up to 1620 right where it was before I ever heard of ‘RX-MEN’. I could have stopped but like any addict I decided this time would be different and kept playing.

  Unfortunately, I hit a losing streak and resumed bouncing around tantalizingly close to either giving up or steadfastly believing I was moments away from a huge turnaround. Eventually I found myself playing Almirante with my tating at 1567 or 53 points below my high of 1620:

  Hall of Fame baseball owner Bill Veeck wrote in ‘The Hustler’s Handbook’ that in his experience hitting slumps start by some hard hit balls turning into outs when they were hit directly at a fielder and end when a dribbling ground ball or lame pop fly finds a way to avoid fielder’s gloves for an undeserved hit. This game was my dribbling ground ball and I was overjoyed to find myself matched up against Almirante again when I pressed the ‘1’ button:

  A decent enough game that I spoiled but ultimately was another weak ground ball that found its way past the infield for a base hit. It was getting around 9:30 and I was starting to feel a bit tired and then I got matched up with brandtje who is a real International Master and probably didn’t have to pay the World Chess Federation for his title:

  Another game where I outplayed my opponent, spit the bit, and recovered to win in a time scramble. It wasn’t the way I’d choose to win but in the end I would choose to win. Of course I'd have little to no chance of beating an International Master in three, five, of ninety five minute chess games but the quicker the time limit the more random the results. Look at the recent World Chess Championship between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin where there were two wins and 10 draws in the 12 games where the players started out with 2 hours each and two wins and two draws in the tiebreak games where the players got 25 minutes apiece. Anyway after almost two hours of playing my rating was back at 1612 within one game of my all-time high. I was pretty sleepy but hit the little button with a ‘1’ on it and once more tilted at my own personal windmill. Standing between me and my all-time high was ivanzug:

  This win pushed my rating past 1620 to 1624 which is a new personal best and will remain so until I once again click the little button with a ‘1’ on it. I was overjoyed at only having to spend only a few hours instead of a month or a year to get a new high rating and happily clambered off to bed. The last game I played was the best of the bunch but still not very good even for a one-minute game. Luckily I didn’t have to be a world beater – I just had to be a little better than my opponents.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Book Review - MindGames (Phil Jackson's Long Strange Journey)

  I had Thanksgiving week off from work for the most part in that I worked from home a few hours each day and had the rest of the week for myself. I spent some time refining my basketball prediction program to account for some early season biases favoring teams with heavy home schedules. While I wasn’t pondering the imponderables of predicting basketball games I read MindGames, the 2001 biography of Phil Jackson by Roland Lazenby. The book brushes on Jackson’s youth as the athletic son of evangelical ministers, basketball career with the New York Knicks, coaching stints in the minor league CBA and as an assistant with the Bulls. The crux of the book is Jackson’s leading the Bulls to 6 championships in 8 seasons and how he manages and molds the diverse personalities on the team into those championship squads using philosophies he gleaned from his close proximity to Native American reservations in his youth and his experiences using psychedelic drugs in the 70’s.

  The mainstays of the 90’s Bulls were Michael Jordan (arguably the greatest player of all time) and superstar Scottie Pippen. They were the only players on all six championship teams. Jackson comes in for his share of the credit for guiding Jordan to trust his lesser talented teammates and installing a passing offense (the triple post or triangle offense) that gave defined roles and opportunities for the rest of the roster to contribute. Jordan and Pippen won three straight championships form 1991 to 1993 with the supporting cast of Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright, John Paxson, BJ Armstrong, etc... Then Jordan retired from basketball after his father was murdered and his personal gambling habits came under intense media scrutiny. After a failed attempt at becoming a baseball player, Jordan returned to basketball in 1995 but seemed old and slow in leading the Bulls to a second round playoff loss to the younger, athletic Orlando Magic of Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal.

  The playoff loss drove Jordan to get in the best shape of his life and rebuild his game to accommodate his aging body and in 1996 Jordan and Pippen led an entirely new supporting cast to the all-time best record of 72-10 (surpassed by the Warriors last season) and a championship (not matched by the Warriors last season) that was followed by two more. In the book, Jackson’s role is portrayed as a bridge between Jordan and his new cast of teammates (including Hall of Fame player/nut case Dennis Rodman) as well as trying to keep the front office led by Jerry Krause from dismantling the aging team with a cheaper group of players and coaches.

  The book ends up with the Bulls finally broken up and Jackson takes a year off before taking over as the coach of the supremely talented but perpetually under-achieving Shaquille O’Neal/Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers team. Jackson wins the first of three more championships with the Lakers, providing a measure of validation that his methods are championship worthy even without Michael Jordan.

  This book does a great job of delving behind the scenes to show how Phil Jackson’s unique background and experiences formed his basketball philosophy. It is more than unabashed tribute to Jackson – there are plenty of examples of petty and self-serving actions. Whether discussing the good or bad there are plenty of quotes and explanations from Jackson for many of his unconventional actions from splicing scenes from movies into game film to picking out books for his players to read on road trips and even why he beats tom toms before home games. Throughout the book one has the sense that Jackson’s oddity’s are carefully measured to elicit responses from his teams and reduce the tedium of a six month season that is merely a prelude to yet another championship run.

  My only problem with the book is it needs an update to cover the 15 years since Jackson’s first Laker championship (there was an additional chapter added in the 2007 paperback reprint), where Jackson won 2 more Laker championships, left the team, started dating owner Jerry Buss’s daughter, came back to win 2 more championships, left the team again, and took over the basketball operations of the New York Knicks. The Knicks are in the third year of Jackson’s rebuilding project and the results are not encouraging. Jackson has drafted one all-star caliber player in Kristaps Porzingis but his first head coach (Derek Fisher) failed to make it through two full seasons. This year Jackson resorted to obtaining past but not present All-Stars Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah which shows me that Jackson has given up on building the team from within for now in favor of the quick fix. So far his team management skills have suffered in comparison with his 90’s coaching rival Pat Riley, who has built and rebuilt the Miami Heat into playoff teams three times since taking over the basketball operations in the mid 90’s.

  Phil Jackson was a great coach even if he has not proven to a great team builder with the Knicks. His detractors say he only won his record 11 championships because he had superstars like Jordan, Pippen, Bryant, and O’Neal on his team. I can’t think of very many coaches who have won championships without superstar talent but I was always struck how Jackson could get contributions from the lesser players on his teams and bring along young players and acclimate veterans from other teams into his system. There are lots of coaches that have great player and don’t win championships. Jackson has won championships and deserves the credit that brings.

  When I was looking at the Hall of Fame players Jackson coached I noticed that the Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf was inducted into the Hall this year, joining Jackson, Jordan, Pippen, and Dennis Rodman as the Hall of Famers from that Bulls run of 6 championships in 8 years. Left on the outside looking in was Jerry Krause the General Manager who was a finalist for the Hall but didn’t make the cut. The book protrays Krause as half buffoon and half as a gross overweight pig with food hanging on his face who habitually upsets the players by fouling the locker room bathroom just before game time. In every accounting of the Bulls championship run Krause gets some credit for hiring head coaches Doug Collins and Jackson. Jackson was brought in as an assistant after years of not being able to get an NBA job due to the self-inflicted damage to his reputation by his 1970’s autobiography ‘Maverick’ where he was very open about his recreational drug use. The digs on Krause center around the fact that Jordan was the one player he did not acquire and his boorish manner with the players and press. When Jordan retired from the Bulls, Krause drafted many future all-stars with his top of the lottery picks (Tyson Chandler, Elton Brand, Ron Artest) but was never able to even get to the playoffs and was let go after he gutted his roster to draft Eddie Curry and Chandler straight out of high school with the first two picks in the draft and failed to make the playoffs with his young inexperienced team. I don’t know if Krause is a deserving member of the basketball hall of fame but if the owner of the team that hired him was selected largely for the 6 championships that Krause oversaw as the general manager I’m not sure why he wouldn’t have been inducted at the same time.