Burke wants to lead the Jazz to the postseason, possibly as early as the 2013-14 season.
“I’m really looking forward to competing in the playoffs, and I want it to be this year,” Burke said. “I’m going to compete and fight, so is everybody else on our team. We’re all going to compete and fight. It should be a fun year and that’s one of our goals. Our number one goal is to make the playoffs and go from there. Hopefully we can come together and do so. I’m looking forward to it.”
I'm afraid that's not the number one goal of the front office. If it was you probably wouldn't be starting.
While winning is clearly the most important thing to Burke, he also admits that he’d love to bring home Rookie of the Year honors. Burke believes he be a difference maker for the Jazz, and take home to the award.
“I definitely think I can potentially get that award,” Burke said of Rookie of the Year. “Coming off the season I had last year, I’m a confident player. My confidence is my strength. I definitely think there is a good chance that I could win it.”
Burke certainly doesn’t lack confidence. When told that he’ll have to face All-Star point guards like Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams, Tony Parker and Kyrie Irving in the first few months of his career, Burke doesn’t seem concerned at all. In fact, he’s looking forward to going at the NBA’s elite floor generals.
“They have to guard me just like I have to guard them,” Burke said with confidence. “There are so many talented point guards – young ones and ones that are in their prime right now – so I definitely think it’s the most challenging position, but I’m willing to embrace that challenge. I’m definitely ready to embrace it. I’ve been ready my whole life, from the top level of AAU to high school to college to now here in the NBA. It’s my dream to be here, so it’s nothing that I’m concerned about. I just have to go in there and be confident. I’m ready to embrace my opponent every night in and night out.”
Burke has already won over his teammates, who have been impressed with his work ethic and abilities. Alec Burks, who played alongside Burke in the Orlando Summer League and worked out with him this summer, raves about the rookie.
“He makes everyone better,” Burks said of his new backcourt partner. “He’s a great passer. He can shoot it. He’s someone who is going to draw defenses to him, so that makes my life easier. He’s going to make all of us better. He’s a really good player. We’re going to playing together a lot so we’ve got to get that chemistry down and then just get better together.”
Good to hear him and Alec have been working on their chemistry together anyway.
The Jazz are also expected to add forward/center Dwayne Jones as well as guard Justin Holliday, the older brother of New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holliday. Southeastern Louisiana had tweeted that guard Brandon Fortenberry would also receive an invite, but the Jazz said Thursday that was unlikely to occur. Salt Lake Tribune
Interesting stuff. I don't believe the Jazz to be boorish and fatuous and have McNeal stay with the team all summer and then release him right before camp for no reason. Maybe it was McNeal's agent like Steve Luhm thinks, maybe it was a money issue. It seems like releasing him days before training camp begins benefits McNeal more than the Jazz so that hopefully he can catch on with another team.
Many teams have been cutting guys recently. They have unguaranteed contracts. They could be valuable in a trade. You don't want to just cut them until you have to. It looks like McNeal probably would have been in camp and had a shot to make the team if he'd wanted to. Taking the money and opportunity in China was probably the way to go though.