Michael Dunlap is a Senior Content Director for the FanSided network, covering wide-ranging topics such as the NBA, NFL and TV. The NBA is his passion, and without question is his favorite sport to watch and play. He’s been in the sports journalism field for just over four years and has been full-time for two.
NBA Scholar: What is your first NBA memory?
Michael Dunlap: The Timberwolves drafting Chrisitan Laettner back in 1992. Thought it was going to be great…
NBA Scholar: What was the first NBA game you saw?
Michael Dunlap: I don’t remember it, but I know my dad took me to a Wolves game at the Metrodome back in their first season (1989-90). Still have the ticket stub.
NBA Scholar: Tell us about your professional path in the NBA editorial world.
Michael Dunlap: I started at Bleacher Report and didn’t like how the company was run. Thought I could do better on my own, so I built a site. The site gained notoriety and we joined the FanSided network. Management there was impressed as we grew by leaps and bounds, so they hired me full-time to help build other sites in the same fashion.
NBA Scholar: Describe your passion for the NBA in no more than 25 words.
Michael Dunlap: Marketable personalities playing the best game in the world, what’s not to like?
NBA Scholar: What was your proudest moment as a NBA media professional?
Michael Dunlap: Getting credentialed based on my hard work alone. Before HoopsHabit was part of any networks, I was able to attend Phoenix Suns games and practices.
NBA Scholar: Favorite player of all-time?
Michael Dunlap: Kevin Garnett
NBA Scholar: If you could rewrite one specific NBA event, what moment would you choose and why?
Michael Dunlap: I’d have the Wolves draft Steph Curry instead of Jonny Flynn. I don’t think I need to elaborate much further. If that’s too easy…we’ll say I would have changed the Joe Smith/draft picks lost debacle. Hurt Garnett’s prime.
NBA Scholar: Choose – watching Wilt’s 100 points game or 1987 All-Star Game?
Michael Dunlap: All-Star Game. Watching Wilt score 100 would be like watching a pro play against 10th graders.
NBA Scholar: Pick 3 NBA personalities (players, GM’s, coaches, et cetera…) you would like to interview
Michael Dunlap: Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson
NBA Scholar: When will the Phoenix Suns win a Championship?
Michael Dunlap: Hahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
NBA Scholar: Best thing about the Phoenix Suns, in your view?
Michael Dunlap: Their media relations. Great group of people, really helpful and gracious with their time. Even went out of their way to send me a gift basket when my second son was born.
NBA Scholar: Define Devin Booker’s ceiling: franchise player, Star, All-Star, Superstar…?
Michael Dunlap: Superstar. As a rookie he showed he can pour it in. He had no help out there at all. He could be better than Klay Thompson.
NBA Scholar: Dearest NBA arena?
Michael Dunlap: Target Center, only for the nostalgia.
NBA Scholar: Most-liked Phoenix Suns player of all-time?
Michael Dunlap: Goran Dragic
NBA Scholar: Will this recent Cavs 25 threes record hold for a long time?
Michael Dunlap: Yeah. It’s the right group of guys who want to go after what is a meaningless record.
NBA Scholar: And the next NBA Champions will be the…
Michael Dunlap: I believe the Cavaliers are going to bring Cleveland some much-needed happiness. They held strong against the Warriors last season, without Irving and Love. They added more veterans, they’re healthy and they can out-gun anyone.
NBA Scholar: What’s the person in NBA media landscape you most admire and why?
Michael Dunlap: Tough one. I’m going to go with Paul Coro. He was so helpful to me early on in my career – for no real reason other than he wanted to help me along the way. We’ve developed a friendship and I try to pay it forward to fledgling writers the same way he did for me.
NBA Scholar: If you were a NBA player, you would probably be compared to…
Michael Dunlap: Shane Heal (look it up!). Dude could hit a 3 if he was open but really didn’t do a single other thing well. That’s my game.
NBA Scholar: Favorite NBA book?
Michael Dunlap: Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons.
NBA Scholar: What NBA quote you enjoy the most?
Michael Dunlap: Not huge into quotes believe it or not, but I always love athletes who are willing to admit when they got their butts kicked. Guys like Charles Barkley and Larry Bird weren’t giving the canned answers night after night like athletes today do.
NBA Scholar: Playing GM: LeBron James or Tim Duncan to start a franchise?
Michael Dunlap: LeBron. Better all-around player.
NBA Scholar: Playing GM (2): Phil Jackson or Popovich?
Michael Dunlap: Popovich. Got so much more out of role players than any coach. Smart as hell, his teams were always prepared. Jackson better dealing with egos, though.
NBA Scholar: Preferred NBA writer?
Michael Dunlap: I like Zach Lowe, but not for the reasons most do. I like him because I know how hard it is to have a feel for a team that you don’t regularly cover. That takes a TON of work and countless hours of research. He did a piece on the Suns that I would have expected only out of those of us who cover them regularly. It impressed the hell out of me.
NBA Scholar: What advice will you give to youngsters who wish to join sports writing?
Michael Dunlap: Develop connections, never burn a bridge and never publish anything you aren’t proud of.
NBA Scholar: Next season you hope _________ will __________ (fill in the blanks)
Michael Dunlap: Andrew Wiggins turns into a two-way star under coach Thibodeau.
Michael Dunlap Twitter: @DunlapSports