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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Some Players Are Not Destined for NBA Glory

By Trent Toone

Some guys just aren’t meant to make a career in the NBA.

When NBA coaches finalize their rosters and the season starts in late October, chances are former Utah Ute Chris Burgess will find himself looking in from the outside.

Perhaps it’s too early to say, but after watching Burgess put on a Phoenix Suns’ uniform and play sparingly against the Memphis Grizzlies in the Rocky Mountain Revue, I just don’t think he’s going to make it.

A description of the way he played could be something like this: timid.

Burgess moved just about as well as a deer staring into oncoming headlights.

He did grab some rebounds, but didn’t make an impact. He appeared to be more concerned with preventing another foot injury than dunking a basketball.

The Burgess story weaves a tale of woe, unrealized dreams and downright disappointment. The 6-foot-10, 245-pound forward was touted as one of the top prospects coming out of high school in Southern California.

There was the episode with former BYU basketball coach Roger Reid and letting down millions of Mormons if he didn’t play for the Cougars. Instead, he landed on the bench of the Duke Blue Devils for his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Riding the pine for a highly recognized team that competed for the national championship every year wasn’t all fuzzy dice for Burgess. He clearly wasn’t impressed with the minutes he was seeing and he opted to transfer to Utah.

Problem solved? Maybe.

Then came one and a half OK seasons with the Utes, as the second half of his senior season was lost to a foot injury.

Unless Burgess starts playing with a little more fire in the rectum, he might as well start applying for regular jobs.

But while Burgess struggled in rookie league play, two Memphis players with Utah ties performed very well. Guards Fred House of Southern Utah and Eddie Gill of Weber State knew how to deliver the goods for their teams.

I realize a player needs more than a good game in the Rocky Mountain Revue to make it in the NBA, but Gill already has two seasons in the league and rookie House scored double figures and made an impact. Expect to hear their names more.

Another player with Utah roots and an equal chance at a season in the NBA is former Utah swingman Alex Jensen. I have yet to see him play, so I will refrain from commenting on his opportunities.

While looking at the game program, it was weird to glance at the roster of the Toronto Raptors and see one player with 14 years experience among all the rookies?Olden Polynice.

When Olden isn’t impersonating a police officer, he enjoys beating up rookies at the Rocky Mountain Revue. Good luck big guy, I doubt the Raptors will keep you past summer league play.

As far as the Jazz are concerned, Andre Kirilenko is in, Raul Lopez is a question mark, DeShawn Stevenson is out and Curtis Borchardt’s indestructible foot is hurt again.

Yes, I’d say the Jazz are headed for major reconstructive surgery? it is just a matter of when team management finds the right surgeon.

In the Jazz game with Denver on Saturday, Kirilenko left the game in the first half and didn’t return. No one could score. Fans yelled for Stevenson to go back to high school when he missed shot after shot after shot. Utah lost the game by a pathetic amount of points.

Maybe Stevenson and Burgess could look for jobs together.

Trent welcomes feedback at: [email protected]

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