AND THEN THERE WAS ONE
I don't usually like players like TJ McConnell.
If you're a regular listener of the pod, and if you're subscribed to this newsletter you likely are, you know I have a type. I like chuckers, with an occasional dash of gritty asshole (this all stems from my love of John Starks). TJ McConnell only really has one of of those qualities.
When Jake Pavorsky kept tweeting that McConnell had a serious chance of making the team, I laughed at him on the pod. I was far more focused on Scottie Wilbekin getting hot during a fourth quarter run in garbage time. But little Jake was right, and TJ did make the team. I didn't end up liking TJ McConnell, I love TJ McConnell.
PODCAST: Farewell, TJ McConnell
The memories will have with TJ will truly last forever. There was his streak of starting the season as the team's starting point guard and not taking a free throw for what seemed like 30 games. There was the game winner over Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks (and getting choked by Joel afterward), the famous "TJ Game" against the Celtics in the playoffs, and who could forget his amazing appearance at the first ever Live Ricky, double fisting beers, cursing, and mocking Cleveland (listen to that here if you never have).
I can tell you that TJ appreciates our group of fans as much as any athlete appreciates any fans, and will miss the ravenous, weirdo support we gave them. We've all done a great job of letting those guys who went through it with us know how we feel, and they love it right back, as you could see in Minnesota when we visited Dario and Rock.
Join the Rights To Ricky Sanchez run (or walk) team for the Providence Animal Center Bark In The Park 5K on October 26th and get this sweet shirt with TJ's dog, Joel's dog, Ben's dog, Rock's dog, Mike's dog and Spike's dog on it. And you'll help save animals, it's really a win-win. Our goal is 100 members and $15,000 raised. Join the team right here.
TJ was the last remaining member of the 10-win Sixers (unless you count Elton Brand), and leaves us with only Joel Embiid from the Process Core Four of Robert Covington, Dario Saric, TJ and Joel, all players acquired by Sam Hinkie and played on Process teams (this goes up until the 28 win season). Change is always constant, and often a good thing, but it's never a reason to forget the past or where we came from. TJ was part of where we came from.
As we talked about on last night's podcast, we hope TJ muscles the starting spot from Malcolm Brogdon, steals the Rookie Of The Year trophy and brings it home one day. I'll miss having TJ McConnell as part of the Sixers, but am glad he'll get a shot somewhere else, and I hope they appreciate him there as much as we do here.
At least we found another reason to go to the midwest for Fly The Process V.