One is a Minnesota and NBA legend who played with and against the greats of his generation. The other has a rich baritone voice that would rival the late Barry White. Together Jim Petersen and Michael Grady make great music as color analyst and play-by-play, respectively, on Minnesota Timberwolves telecasts.
Grady is in his second year as the voice on the Wolves mic, only the second Black person as the team’s main broadcast voice since Gus Johnson in the mid-1990s. Since 2003, Petersen has worked as color analyst, offering his keen insights and curated commentary from his years as an NBA player and WNBA championship assistant coach for over two decades. He also did the same on radio prior to moving to the small screen.
According to Grady, almost from the start he and “Jim Pete” were in sync. Watching and listening to them telecast games is clear evidence of that, as if the two have been together for years rather than just one season so far. Grady and Petersen are both entertaining and knowledgeable.
“It takes two to tango,” Grady told the MSR prior to the season. “I have to give him a lot of credit because he showed me a lot of grace and welcomed me.
“I’ve heard amazing things about Jim,” he continued. “He’s one of the best analysts in the NBA.”
No slouch himself, Grady is a seasoned pro who began his broadcasting career in his home state of Indiana in 2003. He is an Emmy winner (2016), and has done play-by-play for NBA TV and Turner Sports, the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the WNBA’s New York Liberty. Before joining the Wolves in 2022, Grady spent the last five years on the YES Network doing Nets and New York Yankees games.
Grady said he did his homework prior to meeting Jim. “I watched every single game from the previous season after I got the job,” admitted the announcer. He said he wanted “just to get a feel for Jim’s cadence and how it flowed with his previous partner.”
Yet it wasn’t until their first-ever broadcast together that Grady quickly realized the experience working with Peterson would be a smooth transition. “We literally hit the ground running,” said Grady of Petersen. “He’s a pro doing this [for 26 seasons].
“I have to say I’m pleased with the way we’re actually flowing together and giving each other room to work,” said the voice of the Wolves.
Grady came into the 2023-24 Timberwolves season very positive about their on-court success. “I’m an optimist. I feel this team has a real opportunity to do something special. That’s what my excitement is.”