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Trey Burke Interview

February 1, 2019
Updated 5:23 p.m. ET


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Trey Burke InterviewInside Hoops editor Jeff Lenchiner recently met up with NBA guard Trey Burke, who yesterday was traded by the New York Knicks to the Mavericks in a deal that moved Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas.

Enjoy the exclusive Inside Hoops Trey Burke interview: What do you think some of the factors are that helped you make the NBA, and helped stay here?

Trey Burke: Definitely faith. I wear that on my sleeve. A lot of prayer. Six-foot-one, so. I definitely believe that's the main reason why I'm in the NBA. Besides that, everyone says "hard work." You're not going to be able to make it to this level without working hard. I think you mix those two together. My advice to kids: You can do anything in this life if you mix faith in Jesus Christ with hard work. A resilient will to get better. Each and every day to work at your craft, you can make it anywhere. Regardless of what craft it is. And specific basketball skill and drill-wise, what are some things you worked on that helped you make it here?

Burke: Always stayed outside. Always played, growing up. I grew up playing outside in the playground. My generation was kind of the last generation that got a taste of the playgrounds. For me, growing up in Columbus, Ohio, basketball was a part of the culture. Everyone wanted to play basketball or football. Ohio is a football state, but it's also a basketball state in my opinion. I stayed playing sports. I ran track, played football and basketball. So, just having an athletic childhood helped me in the long run. I'm from New York, and it's wild how so much of the outdoor game has evaporated. And relocated.

Burke: Everyone has gyms now, this generation. You got to have social media, Instagram, you see everybody working out in a gym. I think that's most of the kids' preferences now. But I still think there's some little ones out there that get outside. And benefit the most to me, because you get outside, a part of nature, and learn how to play through the roughest, toughest environments, and you can make it anywhere. If you play outside, and deal with the wind factor, the imperfect conditions, etc. it's only going to toughen a kid up.

Burke: Absolutely. Like you said. Depending on how you were raised -- growing up, I played up. I played against kids that were older than me, so it prepared me, it groomed me for times like where I'm at now in the NBA, playing against bigger guys. What's something you've learned about being in the NBA that isn't quite so obvious to fans and other people?

Burke: Every day, you got to be present. Every day you have to figure out a way to get better, or you could be out of the league. I don't think fans see that. Fans don't see the grind that it really takes to be a professional athlete. I think they get bits and pieces of it, but naw man, you're dealing with family issues, you're dealing with money issues from family members, close family members, you're dealing with your role, trying to be better in your role, you're dealing with all type of things. You don't see that, as a fan. All you see is the finished product on the court. I think the guys who are able to balance their lifestyle the best, do the best.