Meet Kevin Lynch
Before he heads to Denver to make his Wolves Radio debut, new radio analyst Kevin Lynch sat down to discuss his playing days, the transition from the hardwood to behind the mic, and what fans can expect to hear from him this season…
TW.com: For fans who aren't fully aware of your illustrious high school career in Minnesota, tell us a bit about what it was like to win two state titles with Bloomington Jefferson and how it felt to be named Minnesota's Mr. Basketball your senior year...
Lynch: Wow, well we can rewind back to when I was a seventh grader… I had two brothers on the Bloomington Jefferson team that won the 1982 State Championship. It was a lot of fun to be around that team and I think it prepared me well for my future time as a Jaguar. Obviously winning two state titles is something that I will never forget, especially my senior year when we went undefeated. Mr. Basketball was a huge honor for me. To be selected from a very talented pool of players was a significant accomplishment for me. There were a few other players who played Division I college ball in my class.
TW.com: You then went on to be a part of the first recruiting class of Clem Haskins at the University of Minnesota and enjoyed a wildly successful career, leaving the "U" 11th on the all-time scoring list. Talk about your time at the "U" and why you decided to play for your hometown school...
Lynch: I loved my time at Minnesota. Throughout the whole recruiting process I had a number of coaches come into my house, but Clem Haskins was so impressive to my family and I. At the time, the program was going through some rough times, but Clem came in and really swept us off our feet. Times now are much different from then. The high school basketball talent in the state of Minnesota is so much more discovered nationally than it was when I was being recruited. There are so many Division I programs these days and Minnesota has really been put on the map in terms of national recruiting.
TW.com: Did you grow up dreaming of wearing the maroon and gold?
Lynch:You know, not really. Like I said before, the program was really going through some difficult times, so it wasn't important for me to wear the maroon and gold. That changed when I met Clem and really sat down with him and got to know him. It eventually became important for my family and I, but not until Clem took over at Minnesota.
TW.com: The NBA called for you in the summer of '91. You were selected by the then-Charlotte Hornets with the first pick (28th overall) in the second round of the 1991 NBA Draft. What was the draft process like and what did it mean for you and your family to make it in the NBA?
Lynch: The draft process was crazy. The hardest part about it was not knowing who you were going to be playing for. That made the process really stressful. I remember trying to sort through all these potential agents, all while trying to focus in on improving my draft stock. Today's athletes go through such a rigorous process, probably 10 times as difficult as what I went through in 1991. I think that's mainly due to the Internet and draft outlets such as ESPN and others. The players are really put under the microscope and there is so much information about them made available to the public through these sources.
TW.com: You spent two seasons in Charlotte, averaging 3.3 ppg in 95 career games (11 starts), before heading overseas to continue your professional basketball career for seven more seasons. What made you decide to pack your bags for the foreign land? Good decision... bad decision?
Lynch: My time in Charlotte left me with some mixed feelings. I felt like Charlotte drafted me without any need for another guard. Plus, they weren't real patient with me. I wasn't able to develop how I wanted to, and felt like I could, coming out of college. The opportunity wasn't there for me to succeed so I went oversees, which I loved and do not regret one bit. Playing in Europe really allowed me to develop my game at a level I wasn't able to in the States. The other thing that impressed me about Europe was the history of all the cities. I was a history major in college so it was really interesting to me to see the historic sites and sounds of some of the most beautiful land in the world. My journey overseas was definitely an eye-opening experience.
TW.com: A few years later you found yourself in the broadcast booth. What was the first step for you that jump-started your career in the booth? What made you decide to make the switch from the hardwood to behind the mic?
Lynch: Well a huge influence for me was, and always will be, Jim Petersen. We've remained friends throughout the years and he's really served as a mentor for me. I think Jim Pete is one of the best in the business and him being here will serve as a huge resource and be a tremendous advantage for me. Before becoming a history major, I majored in speech communications and was always interested in getting behind the booth. An opening came about at the University of Minnesota and that's where I've been for the past seven years.
TW.com: What is it that you enjoy most about calling the action?
Lynch: I love being a part of basketball in general. I've grown up with the game and am very fortunate to be able to continue my career in basketball without having to endure the grind of playing in the NBA. Don't get me wrong, I loved playing basketball.
TW.com: What's the biggest challenge about describing a game to your listeners who have no picture to go on?
Lynch: I think the biggest challenge of broadcasting is developing chemistry with your play-by-play man. It's so important to develop a rhythm so you can accurately depict what's going to your listener. Being correct and detailed as possible is important and is essential to maintain a fair representation of your analysis.
TW.com: You called games for your alma mater for seven years before deciding to jump over to the pros this season. Talk about your time as a color analyst with the Gophers and why you ultimately decided it was time to make the transition to the professional level?
Lynch: I really enjoyed my seven years with the Gophers. The opportunity for me to jump to the professional level came about and I had to take advantage of that. I've always loved the Timberwolves and am extremely excited to take my career to the professional level. This opportunity will really allow me to get better at my analysis of the professional game and hopefully Alan Horton and I can mesh well together to provide fans with a great call.
TW.com: Do you have any trademark calls or things you look for in a game that you make a point to focus on in your analysis of the game?
Lynch: I think too many broadcasters today focus on the negative aspects of the game. I really try and keep things positive and maintain that throughout the broadcast. Another thing is I really like to have fun while I'm behind the mic. Instead of being monotonous and boring, it's important for me to stay loose and have fun with my analysis of the game. It goes back to having a fun and loose relationship with your play-by-play man. Everything that I've seen with Alan Horton leads me to believe that we will work great together and will have a lot of fun.
TW.com: Thanks for your time, we look forward to hearing you work with Alan Horton all season long on the radio home of the Wolves, KFAN-AM 1130, and the entire Timberwolves Radio Network.
Lynch: You're welcome, I'm looking forward to it.