MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Jim Petersen could be called a “hoopaholic.” As a TV broadcaster for the Minnesota Timberwolves and an assistant coach for the Lynx, Petersen’s arena is the arena, where each day is another chance to soak up as much basketball knowledge as possible.
Petersen, a St. Louis Park native, has been the assistant coach for the Lynx for three years. He learned the game as an actual player, but says he is seeing things differently as a coach.
“I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned about the game by coaching,” said Petersen. “My ability to be an analyst has gotten so much better.”
Cheryl Reeve, head coach of the Minnesota Lynx, said Petersen has developed a knack for focusing on the little things.
“Jim actually for a guy has a great attention to detail. And he loves to communicate, he’s talking every possession if you see him out there,” she said. “He’s got a great feel for the game, obviously he watches a lot of it, he analyzes it for TV.”
Charde Houston, a forward on the Lynx, agrees.
“He always says leave it on the floor, just make sure that you know the game is bigger than you, whenever you think about yourself you’re hurting the team,” she said.
Petersen had an outstanding career at the University of Minnesota and played eight years in the NBA.
Now in the coaching circle, Petersen realizes there is an art to motivating athletes.
“I wish I had listened more when I played for Don Nelson, what he said when we’d lost five games in a row,” he said.
Petersen would someday like to be a coach of the NBA or major college level, but right now he’s focused on the Lynx and he wants to help the team win basketball games.
Petersen’s presence can only help, because he’s “been there, done that” as a player, broadcaster and now a coach.
“I like for the players to have somebody who they know has been in the game and has been in the trenches, has done it,” said Reeve.