Allen Iverson

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.

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More on the Sixers

Sixers Talk Podcast: Where were you for AI's step over?

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NBCSP

Sixers Talk Podcast: Where were you for AI's step over?

On this episode of Sixers Talk, Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick discuss whether or not they have Warriors fatigue. They peel all the strange layers of the Kyle Lowry incident with a part owner of the Warriors.

Would you rather be guaranteed one championship but not be a contender afterwards (like the Raptors if they win and Kawhi leaves) or be a sustained contender without a championship guarantee like the Sixers currently project to being?

Sixers make changes to their coaching and medical staffs. Also, the guys remember Allen Iverson's legendary step over.

1:00 - Are you tired of the Warriors?
8:00 - Kyle Lowry's situation with a part owner of the Warriors.
13:30 - Hypothetical of all hypothetical questions.
21:30 - Nets free up some money. Should Sixers fans be concerned?
29:00 - Sixers coaching staff will have a new look.
34:00 - As will the medical staff.
38:00 - Remembering AI's step over.

Subscribe and rate Sixers Talk:
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Remembering Allen Iverson's famous step over Tyronn Lue in 2001 NBA Finals

Remembering Allen Iverson's famous step over Tyronn Lue in 2001 NBA Finals

It's one of the most memorable plays in franchise history. Heck, it's one of the most memorable plays in Philadelphia sports history.

Allen Iverson stepped over Tyronn Lue in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals on this day, June 6, 18 years ago. The 76ers would go on to win that game but Lue and the Los Angeles Lakers would go on to win every game of that series after it and hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy as NBA Champions.

The Sixers haven't returned to the Finals since then but the A.I. moment lives on in the hearts minds of all Philly fans. Iverson even mentioned Lue in his Hall of Fame induction speech.

You can relive the memorable moment in the above video.