Alec Burks Q+A
Jazz rookie reflects upon his return to Colorado.
by Cub Buenning / @cubbuenning
This past April, Alec Burks was putting the finishing touches on a more than solid sophomore season at the University of Colorado. The Kansas City-native was hearing the word ”lottery,” so passing on his final two collegiate years wasn’t the most difficult of decisions. With the 12th pick in the first round, the Utah Jazz selected the 6-6 guard; more than justifying his decision to depart.
Fast-forward a few months and suddenly the wide-eyed kid is in Tinseltown preparing to play the Lakers at Staples Center followed a night later by a return to the Mile High City in a face-off with the Denver Nuggets. Prior to tip, the rookie took a few seconds to sit down with SLAMonline.
SLAM: Talk about this first week of being an NBA player, things are legit now, you’re in the big leagues.
Alec Burks: It’s been cool; it’s been great for me! It’s why I left school (Colorado) eight months ago, to live out this dream. So, it’s great to me.
SLAM: Do you have any people coming down from Boulder for this one?
AB: I don’t think really anyone is coming out, because there is a Colorado game tonight, so I would rather they supported “The Buffs.”
SLAM: You were a sophomore in college last year and now you are in the NBA, in Denver, playing against the Nuggets.
AB: It’s crazy, man. I could be in school right now. Well, I’d be on Christmas break, but it’s a great feeling, I’m living my dream out right now, I’m just glad.
SLAM: What did you take from your first piece of action (previous night in L.A. against the Lakers)?
AB: I learned that it’s a grind, but at the same time, it’s the NBA; everyone is more physical and faster. Mostly, I was more athletic than everyone in college, but out here, everyone can do the same thing that I can, so I just have to adjust to it. But, I feel like I’ll be fine.
SLAM: Have you been keeping close tabs on the Buffs this year and what they have going on up in Boulder?
AB: Yeah, of course, I have. They are working hard, but they are going through some issues right now, but they are working hard, and I gotta respect that.
SLAM: You have spent your whole life being “the man,” and not having to worry about getting minutes. How do plan on handling being a rookie and not knowing what kind of floor time you will get on a nightly basis?
AB: I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. I’m a grown man; this is a job and I’m going to stay ready and whenever my name is called, I’ll be ready.
SLAM: What is it like playing for Coach (Tyrone) Corbin?
AB: He’s real cool, I mean, he was a player, and I love playing for those guys. They understand the game more because they played it. I love coaches like that.
SLAM: So this team, there is a nice mix here but with a lot of young guys that is probably more built for the future. How do you approach that when we know you all want to win every game?
AB: You’re right. We compete every night; we all want to win; that’s the goal. But we also know that the future is bright and we have a lot of players that are under 22 and are really good, so I think our future is really bright for us too.