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Why Alec Burks still has love for Utah as he adjusts to new role with the Golden State Warriors

SHARE Why Alec Burks still has love for Utah as he adjusts to new role with the Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors guard Alec Burks (8) looks to pass against the Utah Jazz in the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019.

John Hefti, AP Photo

SAN FRANCISCO — Wearing his No. 8 Warriors practice jersey, Alec Burks lingered after his team’s shootaround Monday morning long after his teammates had headed to the locker room. He was waiting to see his old buddies, as the Utah Jazz players and coaches filed onto the Chase Center court for their shootaround. 

After laughing and talking to several Jazz players and members of the broadcast team, he had one last media person to get past before getting to the locker room.

“Oh, no,” Burks exclaimed as he stopped to be interviewed by a Utah writer.

Same old Alec, who never enjoyed talking to the media during his seven years with the Jazz.

Burks was cordial, yet reticent as usual, as he talked about his latest job, as a starter for the Golden State Warriors.

The 28-year-old forward has been around the block since being traded by the Jazz last November to Cleveland for Kyle Korver. In early February, he was traded again, this time to Sacramento in a three-team deal that also involved the Houston Rockets. 

In July he was planning to sign with Oklahoma City, but that changed when Paul George was traded and on July 11, he signed with the Warriors.

“Alec’s been great. We’re lucky to have him. He’s been fantastic.” — Warriors coach Steve Kerr on Alec Burks

Burks was often injured during his time in Utah and got off to a slow start for Golden State with an ankle injury that hampered him during the preseason and he missed the first three games.

Since getting healthy, Burks has seen an increased role with the decimated Warriors, who recently had none of the 15 players from last year’s NBA Finals runner-up team, available to play.

Burks has averaged 23 points on 24-of-45 shooting over the past three games, while playing 33 minutes per game.

“Alec’s been great,” said Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr. “We’re lucky to have him. He’s been fantastic.”

Burks says he’s enjoying playing for the Warriors’ current young team.

“It’s been great so far, San Fran’s a nice city,” he said, being as brief as possible.

Burks insists he has no bitter feelings whatsoever about being let go by the Jazz after seven-plus seasons.

“Naw, Utah gave me and my family so much love, I wouldn’t never say anything negative about Utah,” he said. “It just happens like that. I spent what, seven years there? I built a lot of relationships with a lot of people, man. I have love for everybody over there.”

As for his future, he believes things will get brighter for the Warriors, who currently are tied for the worst record in the NBA at 2-8.

“We’ve still got three All-Stars that are hurt, so we’ll be all right,” he said. “I’m just trying to play great every night. I take it by day. That’s the plan, to play as long as I can.”