Utah Jazz: New point guard Trey Burke willing to work to help Jazz win, become All-Star
"We have to give him time to get comfortable," Corbin said. "We have to see how he picks things up. We expect him to pick things up fast after watching his career up to this point. We think he's a quick learner. But the competition is different."
Burke, who set records for assists and steals with his last team, seems to welcome the challenge.
The Columbus, Ohio, native admitted he hasn't come off the bench since he was a freshman at Northland High School.
Two months after leading Michigan to the NCAA championship game, Burke's plan for his new playing situation is "to come right in and show my leadership abilities, bring a winning mentality, make plays for team."
Asked about how he'd react to not starting, Burke said, "I'll still be a leader from the bench when I'm not in the game."
But make no mistake.
Burke, who seems charmingly confident, wants to be the Jazz's starting point guard — and an excellent one at that.
"If you ask me," he said, "I feel like I can be an All-Star."
That's something the Jazz have had in abundance over the past few decades at his position. But that elite-level point-guard play is something Utah has been lacking over the past couple of years since Deron Williams was traded away.
"I definitely feel like I'm a really good playmaker, a really smart point guard that can lead his team and win," Burke said.
Words are easy to say, of course.
But Burke is willing to prove it, beginning with his intended video-watching sessions and then into next week's minicamp for the upcoming summer league in Orlando and so forth. He hopes to impress Corbin and Co. like he did the coaching staff at Michigan where he started as a freshman and sophomore.
"My plan," he said, "is to pick up on things much quicker than what they expect me to pick up on things."
Burke also plans on heeding advice he's received from a few NBA guys he knows — Jared Sullinger, Draymond Green and a small point guard named Chris Paul.
"They all pretty much say the same thing: Come in humble; work very hard; pick up on things quick; and just compete, and you'll be fine," Burke said. "They said treat it like it's a real-life 9-to-5 job. Don't look at it as a hobby anymore or this is just basketball take it seriously."
On a lighter note, the Bob Cousy Award winner (best collegiate point guard) was asked whether he has a nickname that might help Jazzland prevent some Burke and Burks confusion.
His suggestion: "T.B."
"That'll work," Corbin said, chuckling.
Added Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey with a smile: "I think the veterans will give him a name or two."
If he leads, plays, runs the pick-and-roll and passes as well as advertised, Burke might also earn his own name in the league.
For now, he's just ready to get going, especially after experiencing relief knowing he wouldn't be on a team in Minnesota that's already loaded with point guards, including Ricky Rubio.
"I'm thrilled to have an opportunity to play in the NBA," Burke said. "It's a dream of mine."
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