When the Mavericks reconvened for the NBA restart back in July, it was only natural to wonder if the team would have to deal with positive COVID-19 tests. Throughout the entire bubble, among the abbreviated training camp, seeding games and the playoffs, there was zero news of any Mavericks player testing positive. It was sort of miraculous, considering the hotbed for COVID-19 Texas had become in the summer months.
Well, now things make a bit more sense. Trey Burke revealed he tested positive when he joined the team in Dallas, he told Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. He’s the only Mavericks player confirmed to test positive for COVID-19
“I never thought that I could get it, to be honest with you,” Burke told Caplan. “I knew it was possible, anybody could get it, but as athletes, we’re so active and stuff, sometimes we forget to remember that, yeah, you can get this too, regardless of how in shape you are.”
It took Burke 25 days to clear his quarantine after testing positive, with further positives tests keeping him from joining his teammates. Burke wasn’t an asymptomatic carrier either — during his first quarantine, he experienced sore throat, chills, a fever, and tightness in his chest.
Burke would test positive a couple times, and then register a negative result. Then an inconclusive test, followed by a smattering of positive and negative results.
“At this point, it was like 21, 22 days,” Burke said. “I was really concerned at that point because I was thinking my career was in jeopardy. I needed an opportunity before the bubble, and Dallas, a team I’m familiar with, calls me, and I can’t get to the bubble because of coronavirus.”
Thankfully, the symptoms subsided and Burke caught a private jet to Orlando to join the Mavericks once he was in the clear. Burke averaged 12 points per game in the eight seeding games, including a 31-point out burst in the opener against Houston. He was then invaluable in the playoffs, providing the secondary playmaking and scoring the Mavericks desperately needed next to Luka Doncic. In the six games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Burke averaged 12.3 points per game on 50.8 shooting from the field and 47.1 percent from three.
Burke is a free agent this off-season, with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle telling media after the season ended he’d love to have Burke back next season. We’ll see how the Mavericks attack what will be a very strange off-season, but needless to say, Burke has earned his way back into the NBA.