Person 2 Person: Trey Burke
With his rookie year in the NBA complete, Trey Burke says Utah is beginning to feel like home. In this week's "Person 2 Person" he talks to Shauna Lake about the Jazz, his family, and his favorite thing to do off the court...play video games.
SHAUNA LAKE: What do you think of the Jazz's reputation right now? What would you say to the most ardent Jazz fan out there?
TREY BURKE: Be patient. Be patient because there's one thing to losing, but there's another thing when you have players that's winners at heart, that come from winning backgrounds, they hate losing. We lose some games, but every time we lose, we fight. You look at the Oklahoma City Thunder right now. They're one of the best teams in the NBA. When Westbrook and Durant were rookies, they might have had twenty-something wins. So there's always hope. There's always a future, and you just have to be patient sometimes.
SHAUNA LAKE: What is life like for you here off the court? Do you feel comfortable here and have you been able to acclimate and feel at home?
TREY BURKE: I feel comfortable. I definitely feel adjusted and comfortable, and it's funny because when we go on the road, we're on the road so much you know guys will hear me say, "I can't wait to get back home." And most of the time you're talking about your home town, but I would say that referring to Utah because it is like home for me now. I have friends come out from time to time to kind of keep me company because I hate being out here by myself. That's one thing because I feel like I'm so far from everything. I'm adjusted, and I like it here a lot.
SHAUNA LAKE: And your dad is actually your manager.
TREY BURKE: He's my agent.
SHAUNA LAKE: Your agent.
TREY BURKE: My agent, yeah. And my dad has been my coach, my father, mentor, you know, guy that's pretty much been there my whole life that I can trust and know that he has my best interest. I feel like that was the best decision for me.
SHAUNA LAKE: It sounds like he's been a huge fan and knew you'd go this far from the very beginning.
TREY BURKE: Absolutely. And he...it wasn't always glitz and glamour. Because I think at a young age our relationship kind of grew apart a little bit because we were around each other so much from AAU tournaments, to around the house. There were times where he would be my coach. I would be so mad at him after games. I wouldn't even want to talk to him. Now that I look back at it, it's kind of like, it was just for me to get here. He knew that I had the potential. He knew that I had the work ethic. He knew that I had the passion and desire to chase after my dreams.
SHAUNA LAKE: So tell me what it's like when he tells you to do everything left handed as a little kid. I mean are you like, "Are you out of your mind dad?"
TREY BURKE: Well I didn't look at it that way. I took it on as a challenge because I knew that I needed a left hand and, you know, there would be times when people would go, "Make him go left. Make him go left." because that was a weakness of mine at the time, and I wasn't already strong. I'm still not the strongest guy today. So it made me better. Brushing my teeth with my left hand, dribbling with my left hand, making my right hand be behind my back and you know doing that all day. It helped my left hand out a lot. I could still improve it, but I think working on it at a young age helped me out.
SHAUNA LAKE: And what was your family life like?
TREY BURKE: Well it was great because...
SHAUNA LAKE: Happy childhood?
TREY BURKE: Yeah I had a pretty happy childhood. We grew up in the inner city of Columbus, Ohio, and it wasn't the best childhood, but you know I had two parents. I had a roof over my head, and my mom did what she could to feed us. I appreciate both of them for it.
SHAUNA LAKE: Why do you say it wasn't a completely happy childhood? Were there tough times financially for the family?
TREY BURKE: There was tough times financially. I can remember one time we didn't even have a Christmas and that was like my 7th grade year. And it was kind of different because before that we had Christmas. You know, my mom would have us make a Christmas list and we didn't always get everything obviously that we put on the list, but she did what she could. And that one year it was kind of like, wow are we struggling like this? And it didn't seem that way, but my parents did a good job because their relationship kind of allowed us to realize that we're not really struggling. They were together, they were married, having a happy relationship, and that one Christmas I don't think we were mad. I think we were just kind of upset. We weren't mad at them. I think we were mad at first to be honest. I was mad at first because I was looking at it from a selfish standpoint. I was young, and I didn't really understand. But I was able to, you know, grow past it, and I think that motivated me to be honest. It motivated me to get better and better.
SHAUNA LAKE: I want to know guilty pleasures?
TREY BURKE: One guilty pleasure I would say is video games. I think that's just because when I was a little kid, and I was stuck to the TV playing video games. But I think it's unhealthy how much I play video games.
SHAUNA LAKE: Even now?
TREY BURKE: Even now. I just have to cut it off and I don't know, watch TV or go to the gym or something like that, but I just love playing video games.
SHAUNA LAKE: Does it just take you out of your real life?
TREY BURKE: Yeah it just takes me away. I'm in control of a fake I don't know.
SHAUNA LAKE: Universe?
TREY BURKE: Exactly and people that's watching this that plays video games know what I'm talking about because it is fun. But then there are times it takes up a lot of your time. So I think that's a guilty pleasure of mine.
SHAUNA LAKE: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
TREY BURKE: Hopefully I see myself here in Utah. I think this is the right situation for me. They pretty much tell me that if I come here and do what they intend for me to do, which is work hard to be the best player that I can be, that I could definitely be one of the faces of the franchise and get this franchise back to the old days. I know it's easier said than done, and there's a lot of work that goes into it, but you know I love it out here. So as long as they're willing to keep me here, I'm willing to be here.
SHAUNA LAKE: Well my money is on you Trey. It's been so nice to get to know you "Person 2 Person."
TREY BURKE: Appreciate it.
SHAUNA LAKE: Thank you.
TREY BURKE: Thanks a lot. I appreciate it.
-Written and produced by: Leslie Tillotson
(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)