That One Time Jim Petersen Went Up Against Brook Lopez In A Draft Workout


This transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity. This is from a Layup Line podcast between Kyle Ratke and Vice President of Fan Experience Jeff Munneke.

Ratke: (Kevin McHale) is a great storyteller.

Munneke: He’s incredible.

Ratke: When you talk about the top-five coaches to talk to, Brett Brown is up there. I think Steve Kerr, from an intellectual level is right up there. Popovich, if he tries. McHale was always up there. He’d joke around. McHale was good.

Munneke: It’s fun, too, because when you talk to the players, Fred Hoiberg, Mark Madsen, they loved playing for Kevin. Again, the greatest storyteller of all time. At the draft workouts, we used to bring in season ticket members to the workouts which was really fun. I remember one year, we were having breakfast with Jim Petersen. We were kind of thick as thieves. We’re having breakfast over at Ike’s, and Petersen has a full breakfast and we brought in a number of players including Brook Lopez. At the time, a lot of the players wouldn’t work out against anybody. They’d work out against a chair or a guy standing there. McHale walks over to Jim Pete and says ‘Pete, can you come in here and just stand next to Brook?’ And Pete says ‘Yeah, sure.’ Petersen has on shoes that he had on for mowing the grass the night before. He has a huge breakfast at Ike’s. The next thing you know, and Petersen’s pretty competitive, he’s going at Lopez. I swear to goodness to this day, Petersen had the best of Brook Lopez in that workout. We’ve laughed about that many times. Brook’s going in for a little jump hook, Pete blocks his shot.

Ratke: And Brook’s probably looking around thinking what’s going on. ‘This guy’s still got the grass on his shoes from the night before and he’s got syrup on his chest!’

Munneke: And he ate, not just a breakfast, but a big breakfast. And 30 minutes later, he’s on the floor going at it. It was pretty cool.

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