Former Jazzmen: Malcontents?

Are Former Jazzmen Trey Burke and Enes Kanter Malcontents? Criticism By Each of His Former Team

By Ken K. Gourdin

Reportedly, former Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke is upset with his former team for playing clearly inferior players ahead of him. Whatever the strengths or weaknesses of such allegedly-inferior players as Raul Neto and Dante Exum, I doubt there is much debate that at least Shelvin Mack has, thusfar, proven more deserving of minutes which otherwise would have gone to Mr. Burke. Similarly, former Jazz center Enes Kanter as sounded off frequently at his alleged mistreatment while a member of the team. For Salt Lake Tribune coverage of Mr. Burke’s comments, see here (last accessed today): To another poster who lauded Mr. Burke for the “class” he demonstrated while here, I responded:

Class is as class “does,” and, in the case of how one speaks of one’s former employer class is as class “says.” Perhaps, to some, this is debatable, but players with the most class don’t bad-mouth former teams (even if such partings did not occur under the best of circumstances). As two such examples, I hope Mr. [Trey] Burke and his erstwhile Utah Jazz teammate, Mr. Enes Kanter, late of the Oklahoma City Thunder, are prepared to spend much of the rest of their careers where they are now, because if I were NBA executives from the league’s other 29 teams, the behavior of each following his departure from the Jazz would give me serious pause about whether I wanted either of them on my roster.

“Team-first” guys don’t usually say some of the things Mr. Kanter and Mr. Burke have said simply because someone has shoved a microphone or a tape recorder in his face and asked him a question about his erstwhile team. Circumspection is usually the better route whenever one is asked about a former employer for which one lacks the fondest feelings. One never knows who else is listening, who might take note, and what s/he might decide as a result.

And, while, again, this might be debatable to some, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that, arguably, these two ex-Jazz players have many of the same deficiencies: that they’re lacking in defensive proficiency and/or intensity, that their work ethic and level of commitment are, perhaps, suspect, and that it does not appear, if their post-departure public comments are any indication, that they are locker-room assets. And while I realize that seven games for a different team in Mr. Burke’s case might not be a sufficient sample size from which to draw many firm conclusions, as much as someone might want to blame Jazz coaches, Jazz executives, or the team’s system for the woes of either (or both), statistically speaking, neither one of them is performing much differently than he did in a Jazz uniform.

About kenngo1969

Just as others must breathe to live, I must write. I have been writing creatively almost ever since I learned to write, period! I have written fiction, book- and article-length nonfiction, award-winning poetry, news, sports, features, and op-eds. I hope, one day, to write some motivational nonfiction, a decent-selling novel, a stage play, and a screen play.
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