If Trey Burke is devastated by his injury, he isn’t showing it. After getting his finger caught on Chris Paul while trying to make a bounce pass last Saturday, Burke broke his right index finger in a way that required surgery. The young point guard, however, has remained about as optimistic as one could be after learning they’d be out for 4 to 6 weeks.
His ever-positive Instagram and Twitter posts are a sign of maturity. A sign of growth. He isn’t discouraged that he’ll miss the beginning of his rookie season, but rather, he’s motivated. “Pissed off for Greatness! Pissed off that I haven’t proved people wrong yet again!,” Burke captioned an Instagram a day after his surgery. It’s almost as if he doesn’t realize he’s a 5’11” point guard in a giants world. But being small has never stopped him before.
“I’m not an injury prone player,” Burke said. “I’m staying as positive as possible for myself and for my teammates.”
The great players aren’t apathetic, and it’s refreshing to see a young player with this amount of motivation. Some would get discouraged. Some would pout. Burke seems to be getting more confident. Something most 20-year olds don’t have the moxie to do.
“He has shown that he approaches things of this nature very well,” said head coach Tyrone Corbin. “He can learn in different ways. We’ll have him watching.”
Watching. Learning. Growing. Burke will now be able to improve his game in other ways. When he played poorly in the Orlando Summer League, Corbin sat him down for one game, and Burke came back and played much better than he had the entire tournament.
“Just watch the game. Become a student of the game,” said John Lucas III on Burke’s injury. “Constantly not just watch myself and Alec, or whoever plays the point guard role on our team, but also watch the other point guards on the other teams because when he comes back those are the guys he’s going to be facing.”
So, if there is a silver lining in Trey Burke getting injured, it’s that he’ll have an opportunity to sit back and learn. He’ll have a front seat to see how guys like James Harden, Deron Williams and Derrick Rose direct their teams.
In the meantime, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter will have to get the job done. Expect Hayward and Burks to manage the ball handling and John Lucas III to play his veteran style of basketball. Maybe bringing in another veteran point guard would be beneficial, not just for now, but in the long term for providing another mentor to the young Jazz point guard.
And to Trey Burke, stay positive kid, your time will come.