SALT LAKE CITY — John Stockton is anxious to see Trey Burke play, like any other Jazz fan.
But the former Utah star believes the rookie might come away a better player because of time spent on the sideline while injured with a broken right index finger.
“Trey, in particular, has a great opportunity to learn where he’s not forced into the action," Stockton said. "Being hurt might actually be a positive for him because it gives him a chance to sit there (and watch)."
Stockton didn't become a full-time starter until he was a few years into his career, something he now appreciates.
“I know my first years sitting on the bench largely behind Rickey Green was a great learning tool for me," Stockton said. "(I) would recommend that for young guards, especially if teams can manage to do it sit some of these highly valued guys coming out, give them a chance to see how the team works without being stuck in the fray.”
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin agrees with his former teammate, who, by the way, dropped in for a quick visit while the team was going through shootaround Friday morning ahead of the Spurs game.
“We’ve had some good conversations with (Burke),” Corbin said. “I think that him seeing the struggles that we’ve had thus far from sitting and watching, he’s anxious to get back out there. We (try to) give him as many lessons as we can while he’s not on the floor, so when he gets on the floor we hopefully can cut the (learning) curve with him.”
WELCOME VISIT: Burke and Alec Burks have talked about how much they enjoyed spending time with Stockton in Spokane, Wash., over the summer.
While in Utah on a book tour for his autobiography “Assisted,” Stockton pointed out that the feeling was mutual.
“I enjoyed my time with them,” Stockton said Friday during a press conference at EnergySolutions Arena. “It was a lot of fun for me. It was my treat really.”
The legendary point guard didn’t discuss specifics of the wisdom he shared with the Jazz youngsters, but he was impressed.
“They’re good, nice young men and they were both open ears, ready to learn and ready to hear whatever,” Stockton said. “Mostly what I did when they were there was babbled.”
What was the Hall of Fame babble about?
“We talked about certain plays and what they might see and what I would’ve done if I saw this, and then (I) just babbled,” Stockton said. “If there’s some wisdom in my experiences, hopefully they pick it up and it helps them.”
Stockton said he wasn’t consulted by the team before Utah acquired Burke. But he was willing to help out after the Jazz traded for the 2013 NCAA player of the year.
“I’m anxious to see him in a game,” Stockton said. “The environment I saw him in was a couple of guys up in an empty gym with me doing a lot of talking.”
ALL-STAR BALLOT: Voting began for the 2014 All-Star Game starters on Friday. Jazz players Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter were among the 120 players listed on the ballot, which is available on NBA.com/asb.
"I ain’t going to get excited unless I make it,” Favors said. “But it’s cool."
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