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Nick Stallings
NICK STALLINGS'S BLOG    View profile
190cm / 6'3'' - Guard - 1983    USA USA

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From Baltic Tiger to Memphis Grizzly - Sep 25, 2012


POSTED BY:
TANGO CASH
E-mail Tango:
Tango's Articles

This is a coming of age story of a Tiger that became a Bear.

23 year old Michael Dunigan is one of the newest members of the Memphis Grizzlies and his trail to the NBA is truly a tall tale.

His professional career started in Jerusalem where management saw an investment opportunity; they would train him in the pre-season and then loan him to teams where he could develop his craft in game situations.

His first stop was the tiny Baltic country, Estonia, which culminated in a league championship. Skipping the parade, Dunigan jetted back to Chicago to partake in the NBA pre draft combine, where he surprised scouts with his length and improved body.

Despite rising in the mock drafts, Dunigan was not selected in the 2011 draft. The next day, the Grizzlies brought Dunigan to Memphis, giving him the VIP treatment. Just a few days later, the NBA locked out players, leaving Dunigan without a summer league to further showcase his improvement.

So, Dunigan hired the NBA's most famous trainer, Tim Grover. After the summer, Dunigan signed to play in Italy, where his coach had the reputation of being fantastic with young players. In Europe, a young roster equates to young prospects and very few wins. Within a month, Dunigan lost playing time to an Italian veteran.

In an effort to find needed playing time, Dunigan accepted a job in the Ukraine. That winter, more than 100 people died from cold weather. But Dunigan braved the conditions, consistently scoring and rebounding all season. As the NBA regular season was near an end, both the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies were on the cusp of offering Dunigan, only to learn that Dunigan had sustained an injury that would keep him out for two weeks. Jerusalem then backed out of their relationship, thinking their opportunity to collect a buyout has been exhausted.

So, Dunigan returned to Chicago and immediately began training. Soon he learned that the Grizzlies had invited him to NBA summer League. Only one day before his scheduled departure, he sustained an ankle injury that knocked him out of Summer League. Back to training and ankle rehab with Physical Therapist, Dave Reavy, known for working medical miracles for Dwyane Wade, Tracy McGrady, and Gilbert Arenas.

The Grizzlies kept a watchful eye on Dunigan throughout the summer and eventually invited him to training camp.

With only two true centers, and the backup still recovering from hand surgery, the Grizzlies may look to Dunigan for needed depth.

What began as the history of a hard luck hooper has become the feel-good fairy tale of a man who became a Grizzly Bear.
  



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Air 21's Michael Dunigan to NBA?: - Mar.31, 2013  (by Tango)

For the surprising Air 21 Express, success may bring panic. Reports from NBA sources indicate that Michael Dunigan(6'10''-C-89, agency: N.E.T., college: Oregon) the Import of the Year frontrunner is being strongly pursued by multiple NBA teams. Dunigan's PBA contract is believed to contain a buyout clause. With the playoffs approaching, Air 21 cannot afford to lose their dominant post player [read more]
Will the NBA fall asleep on Elijah Pittman?- Mar.6, 2013  (by Tango)

Kobe became the next MJ, Nash the next Stockton, and Howard the next Shaq ... Everybody loves historical comparisons. Below are excerpts from a Draft Express scouting report written just before the 2007 NBA draft."a fairly anonymous name in college basketball""raw, but extremely promising hybrid forward with prototypical tools for the next level [read more]
Will the NBA fall asleep on Elijah Pittman?- Mar.6, 2013  (by Tango)

Kobe became the next MJ, Nash the next Stockton, and Howard the next Shaq ... Everybody loves historical comparisons. Below are excerpts from a Draft Express scouting report written just before the 2007 NBA draft."a fairly anonymous name in college basketball""raw, but extremely promising hybrid forward with prototypical tools for the next level [read more]
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