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Dave Benz won’t return as Timberwolves’ play-by-play voice

The decision was made by Bally Sports, with the backing of the Timberwolves

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After 10 years as the play-by-play voice of Minnesota Timberwolves television broadcasts, Dave Benz will not return next season.

The Athletic was the first to report the news. The decision was made by Bally Sports, with the backing of the Timberwolves. Benz put out the following statement via Twitter on Thursday.

“Thank you to the @Timberwolves and @BallSportsNor for 10 amazing years. I am blessed to have established lifelong friendships with so many colleagues, players, coaches & fans!” Benz said. “Thank you for letting me be your soundtrack for 769 broadcasts next to my brother @jimpetehoops.”

Bally Sports and the Timberwolves, who are suddenly a young, talented team with a more intriguing national profile given their playoff appearance this season and the rise of young guard Anthony Edwards, will now conduct a search for their next play-by-play voice.

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Benz is an award-winning play-by-play voice. He and analyst Jim Petersen form what has been one of the NBA’s most revered play-calling duos in television. The two were lauded for their objectivity, but certainly made a point to mix in the fun.

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Benz always brought a wide array of facts — from off-the-wall Timberwolves stats to his popular “Ant facts” he shouted whenever Edwards made a highlight-reel play. Benz told the Athletic he was “disappointed” and “shocked” that his option for next season was not picked up. He received the news Wednesday and called it a “gut-wrenching day.”

“I’m not going to say that I’m happy, but I don’t have any negative thoughts for anybody. They’re entitled to do what they want to do, and I’ve had nothing but great experiences and great memories and great relationships with all the people that I’ve worked with. As hard as this day is, that’s what I’m going to take with me, is what an amazing 10 years I’ve had,” Benz told The Athletic. “It’s just been an amazing, amazing ride. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities I had.”

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