Posted By: Dan Slaubaugh
The Minnesota Timberwolves community is extremely fortunate to have a large collection of dedicated, knowledgeable Wolves writers who cover the team year in and year out. Here at OTP, we are giving fans an opportunity to find out more about these talented individuals. Our final profile feature is AP guy Jon Krawczynski, who is one of the all-around good guys in the sports media industry. He's also fantastic at his job.
Name: Jon Krawcyznski
Affiliation: Associated Press
Web Address: www.ap.org/
Thanks for doing this Jon. Not many " big-time" media reporters are willing to do this kind of stuff.
Thanks for having me. Happy to do it.
How long have you been covering Minnesota sports?
I’ve had two stints. Started covering Twin Cities sports as an intern for the Fargo Forum in 1999 and joined The Associated Press out of college in 2001. I worked as a part-time sports/part-time news guy for a couple years, moved to Alabama and Indiana for three years and then returned to cover sports full-time in the Twin Cities in 2005.
What sparked your interest in journalism and what led to a career with the Associated Press?
Well I always loved sports growing up. Played football and ran track in high school. And I always loved writing just as much. When it became clear I wasn’t going to play in the NBA or NFL, I figured the next best thing was to write about sports. I wrote for the school newspaper at Blaine, then at the University of St. Thomas and once I got that internship with the Forum things started to take shape.
What will readers find by reading your content?
Hopefully original content, compelling feature stories and breaking news that readers don’t find elsewhere. My favorite thing to do is write a good, in-depth feature that gives the reader an idea into the human behind the jersey. But I equally enjoy breaking news that no one else knows about, to give insight and analysis into the inner workings of the organization.
Is there more pressure writing for one of the biggest media platforms in America?
There is pressure, sure. But that’s what I like most about the job. I love deadline pressure for a game story or the competition of breaking a story before another outlet does. The AP is a global organization with a ton of talented reporters working for the company. I’m just trying to pull my weight with a great group.
What do you love most about your job?
See above. I love the pressure. The more, the better. That’s when I feel like I do my best work.
What keeps you driven and motivated to cover Minnesota sports with excellence?
All the great interactions I have with fans at games and on Twitter. They look to me for information and entertainment and I take that responsibility very seriously. I want to give readers/followers/listeners a reason to keep coming back.
The Wolves are one of the NBA's best young squads. Why should fans be sure to follow the team next year?
It should be highly entertaining. In my opinion, there is nothing better than high-level basketball. And the Wolves just haven’t been high level for far too long. But it’s turning. Towns and Wiggins are legit. Rubio is great fun to watch, as are LaVine and Muhammad. An athletic, hungry young team that should win a good amount of games under Tom Thibodeau’s guidance.
Do you have a favorite Wolves memory in the time you've been covering them?
I have not covered a playoff game. Returned to Minneapolis the year after the Western Conference finals appearance. The Corey Brewer 50-point game was completely unexpected and loads of fun. But by far the best experience I’ve had is KG’s first game back after being acquired from Brooklyn. The building was electric, the tribute video was amazing. Goosebumps everywhere.
What was the most enjoyable storyline in the past NBA season and why?
LeBron bringing the Cavs back from 3-1 and delivering on the promise he made two years ago for Cleveland. Seems obvious, but sometimes the obvious one is the right answer.
Which are some of your favorite NBA and Timberwolves related writers you follow?
So many: Zach Lowe, Lee Jenkins, Sam Amick, Jeff Zillgitt, Tim Bontemps, Chris Herring, Tim Reynolds, Tom Withers. Locally: Britt Robson, Zach Harper, Steve McPherson, Derek James.
Rapid Fire (Flame Emojis)
Favorite sports movie? Ugh, so many so let me go off the beaten path: Mystery, Alaska.
Favorite Food? The pork dish at the top of the menu at Chimberazo (sorry, can’t spell it)
Favorite Weather/Season? Fall.
Favorite TV show? Game of Thrones.
Hidden Talent? Can load and unload a dish washer with one hand while holding my daughter in the other.
'95-'96 Bulls or '16-'17 Warriors? Da Bulls.
Favorite NBA player of all-time? Toss-up between Gary Payton and Larry Bird.
Space Jam or Like Mike? Space Jam. Always.
When do the Wolves finally end the NBA's longest playoff drought? If not next season, 2017-18 for sure. But there’s a chance.