76ers

Playing in the same city as his idol Allen Iverson, Trey Burke ready to compete for role with Sixers

Playing in the same city as his idol Allen Iverson, Trey Burke ready to compete for role with Sixers

If you grew up a basketball fan during Allen Iverson’s prime, there’s a good chance you grew to love the six-foot guard out of Georgetown.

And that wasn’t just exclusive to those in the Delaware Valley. Iverson was an icon to many, on and off the court, during his Hall of Fame career.

While Iverson was winning scoring titles and playing in All-Star games, there was a young man by the name of Trey Burke growing up in Columbus, Ohio, who fell in love with the sport of basketball in large part because of the Answer.

All these years later, Burke will now take the floor for the team A.I. was drafted by, he led to an NBA Finals, and the place the 2001 MVP’s NBA career ended.

It’s dope, man,” Burke said in conference call with Philadelphia media Tuesday. “I know everyone knows A.I. has played a big role in just my love for the game of basketball. I met him early on in my career when I was playing in Utah. We developed a relationship then. Being in Philly now, it just came naturally. I’m sure when I get to see him there he’ll have some good advice for me — he always has good advice. I always go back and watch old film of him and how he attacked on offense. A.I. has been a big part of my career and a big part for my love of the game of basketball.

Burke’s career hasn’t exactly followed the same path. The 26-year-old Michigan product hasn’t quite lived up to the billing of being a lottery pick in 2013, but he’s carved a role for himself as a scoring guard in his numerous stops. He has a skill set as a player that can go get his own basket, something that will never be out of style in the NBA.

After playing the last two seasons with the Knicks and Mavericks, Burke is looking forward to getting back on a winning team. He won a state championship in high school, a national championship on the AAU circuit and reached the NCAA Tournament Finals with a star-studded Wolverines team. During his six seasons in the NBA, he’s reached the postseason only once — and played just 20 total minutes in three playoff games for the Wizards in 2017.

Ultimately, that’s how Burke ended up with the Sixers. 

[Winning] played a big part in where I wanted to land,” Burke said. “Philly being a team with high expectations this upcoming year, a team that has experience in the playoffs the last two years – that played a big part. I’ve played on a few teams the last four or five years. Philadelphia being a sports city, having the fans that they have, [me] coming from a team like the Knicks, that kind of market, I was built for it — a Philly type of city.

The backup point guard situation isn’t cut and dry. Burke will battle with fellow veteran Raul Neto, who was brought in as a free agent from the Jazz this offseason. Second-year player Shake Milton could also be a dark horse candidate with a strong camp — though Milton’s summer league performance didn’t help his cause.

Burke’s ability to shoot (37.4 percent from three the last three seasons) and score could also play well next to starting point guard Ben Simmons. Burke mentioned his time in Dallas last season where he played with Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic. Doncic isn’t a point guard, but he’s a ball dominant playmaker. 

With so much more depth, minutes won’t be easy to come by in Brett Brown’s rotation. 

But competition is not something Burke is shying away from.

Yes, if you’re asking if that’s my goal [to be the backup point guard],” Burke said. “I think throughout stretches of the game, [Ben Simmons] and I can play together. I think I can be out there and be with the starting lineup at times. That’s just the competitor in Trey Burke. That’s just who I am as a player and what I bring to Philadelphia. So if you ask me [if I expect to be the backup point guard], yes.

Allen Iverson couldn’t have said it much better.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers

Sixers smother Wizards in rare road win in NBA2K simulation

Sixers smother Wizards in rare road win in NBA2K simulation

If only the real Sixers were as good on the road as the NBA2K version.

The Sixers smothered the Wizards in a 64-50 win during an NBA 2K20 simulation Friday night.

A 17-0 run to start the fourth quarter pushed the Sixers’ lead from five to 22 and essentially sealed the victory.

Perhaps Washington’s mascot — who basically looks like Gonzo from the Muppets with a gut and a wizard hat on — rollerblading on the court at halftime affected the hardwood.

Here are observations from the win:

Bully ball defense

Bradley Beal got off to a scorching start, scoring all 11 of the Wizards’ first-quarter points. After that, it was tough sledding for Beal and the Wizards.

The star guard had just one point in the second and two in the third. By the time Beal hit a three with under four minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Sixers had already gone on a 17-0 run and put the game away.

Embiid quiet again

For some reason, the Sixers don’t get the ball to their best player in this video game. It makes zero sense. Embiid did appear to be playing banged up. He kept flexing his shoulder and had a little medical symbol pop up next to him. Embiid scored one basket with 16.9 seconds left in the first half. That’s it. He did challenge a ton of shots at the rim.

On the other hand, Ian Mahinmi was the Wizards’ best player and played really well … which is something. Mahinmi, who has one of the worst contracts in the NBA, would not normally be the type of big who takes it to Embiid, but in this simulation, it was Mahinmi’s night.

Sixers would take this Harris and Horford in real life

Yet again, Horford was strong in this simulation. He was great on both ends, punishing rookie Rui Hachimura in the post offensively and defensively. Though the mighty Mahinmi did take it to Horford on a couple possessions. 

Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson were also big in this one. Harris, who was the 2K Player of the Game, posted a double-double while Richardson put the clamps down on Beal. Both players played a big part in the fourth-quarter run.


A night to forget for Neto

In a surprise move, virtual Brett Brown decided to go with seldom-used Raul Neto as his backup point guard. It did not go well. Neto missed his first four shots, which all seemed of the forced variety. Brown had seen enough and went to Richardson as his backup one.

Brown gave Neto a second chance in the second half and the veteran point guard rewarded him. Neto came up with a steal on former Sixer Ish Smith and finished on the other end in the third.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers

Sixers Talk podcast: Story time with the great Coach Jim Lynam

nbcsp-ap-jim-lynam.jpg
NBCSP/AP Images

Sixers Talk podcast: Story time with the great Coach Jim Lynam

On this edition of Sixers Talk, we're joined by the great Coach Jim Lynam who talked about his regrets with the Charles Barkley trade, his days with the "Jail Blazers" and told stories about Dr. J, Moses Malone and Maurice Cheeks.

(1:29) • Brand being considered a candidate for the Knicks GM job?

(10:31) • COVID-19 pandemic causing an unprecedented work stoppage.

(21:12) • Joel Embiid and Josh Harris starting a campaign with Penn Medicine.

(26:30) • His relationship with Charles Barkley and the trade.

(35:40) • A story about the greatness of Moses Malone.

(39:54) • Coaching an upset over No. 1 DePaul in the NCAA Tournament.

(48:59) • Adam Silver's leadership in suspending the NBA season.

(52:29) • Coaching Rasheed Wallace and the "Jail Blazers."

(59:57) • How his close bond with Mo Cheeks formed.

(68:19) • A classic Dr. J story.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers