Dunlap third Alaskan to have hand in netting NBA championship

July 21, 2021

Mike Dunlap (left) and family

The state of Alaska has another NBA champion, and his name is Mike Dunlap of Fairbanks.

The 64-year-old is an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks, who beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6 to win the best-of-7 series.

“Soooo happppy,” Dunlap texted.

He is the third Alaskan to have a hand in winning an NBA championship. The first as a coach.

Other Alaskans to claim the Larry O’Brien Trophy were Anchorage’s Mario Chalmers as a player in 2012 and 2013 with the Miami Heat and Anchorage’s Trajan Langdon as a scout in 2014 with the San Antonio Spurs.

Dunlap, of Lathrop High fame, joined the Bucks’ coaching staff this season after previously serving as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets from 2006 to 2008 and head coach of the Charlotte Hornets in 2012-2013.

Dunlap is hoops royalty in Alaska, a true pioneer.

He was the first Alaskan to play in the NCAA D1 Basketball Tournament in 1980.

The first to join an NBA coaching staff.

The first to to become an NBA head coach.

And now the first to win an NBA title as a coach.

Dunlap also led NCAA D2 Metro State to national championships as head coach in 2000 and 2002.