Growing up as a basketball fan in Indiana provides someone with plenty of opportunities to fall in love with the game.
For new Timberwolves television play-by-play voice Michael Grady, the moment that really cemented his path forward was the 1998 NBA playoffs. The Pacers lost the Eastern Conference Finals to the Bulls in seven games, followed by a memorable NBA Finals and Michael Jordan's final title in his last season with Chicago.
"I was a big Pacers fan growing up. I really started paying attention to sports broadcasting in 1998 with Bob Costas calling the NBA Finals," Grady said on Thursday's Daily Delivery podcast. "I started to think that this is something I really wanted to do. My voice started to change a year later. We had a broadcasting program at my high school that I gravitated towards and I put everything into it. That carried me from there."
He said he still considers Costas his "North Star" when it comes to his approach to a game — a fitting descriptor for his new home. Grady worked his way up through the ranks in radio and television, leaving Indiana for New York before landing in Minnesota last month.
As a student of the NBA as a whole, he is very familiar with the Wolves but is getting even more acclimated in his new job.
"I know there's a bad taste in their mouths from the way this last postseason ended. … There's a hunger that's been evident this offseason so they don't have that feeling again," Grady said. "It won't be easy. The Western Conference is extremely deep and extremely tough. Every game will be brutal. If you're a competitor you can't wait to get back in the gym to rewrite history."
How would he describe his style when he's on the microphone?
"Passion is a hallmark. I grew up really loving the game. One thing we can't forget is that it is a game. It's serious, you want to win, you hate losing and all that stuff, but it's fun," Grady said. "There will be an element of fun and enjoyment on the broadcast with Jim (Petersen), who is amazing at what he does as an analyst. I think folks are going to hear passion for the team, passion for the game. I think we're going to be on a wild ride together."