We Really Were Pathetic,” recalls T.J. McConnell in a wonderful Players’ Tribune article.

The Sixers’ backup point guard, who played really well last night against the Knicks, talks about the lows of the 2015 season and describes how he viewed ‘The Process’ from a player’s perspective.

He begins with a story about the home game against the Spurs dating back three seasons, the game where the team just got absolutely run off the court:

I remember this one play so vividly. They’d just gone up over 40…. and I was out there stewing. I’m thinking, like — Alright. 40?? No. F*ck that. Let’s have some pride. And the winner in me kicks in, you know? That guy who’s won all his life, and grinded his way to the league, and isn’t just going to take a loss like that sitting down. So, yeah, I get the ball and I’m thinking — This is it. Here’s your turning point, Sixers fans. I’m going to take this one myself.

I bring it up past half-court, make a little move to get some space…… and I let it fly.


Oh, man. It was just, like, NOPE. The whole arena started booing — our own fans. And it’s funny but I remember not even being fazed. I’m pretty sure I even gave the crowd one of those nods, you know? Just sort of saying, Yep. No….. that’s about right. Keep those boos coming. We really are pathetic.

It’s really honest and interesting stuff. T.J. talks about the “human side” of the process and the very real struggles with losing night-in and night-out. He talks about Joel Embiid and Brett Brown and the horrible aftertaste of the playoff series loss to Boston.

Here’s another story about McConnell’s first interaction with Allen Iverson, after the jump:

It’s my rookie year, our record is terrible, and we’re playing at home. And you have to understand…. I’m barely on the team at this point. Like, barely — or at least that’s what it feels like. It’s the worst team in the league, and I’m an undrafted free agent turned rookie backup. You get the idea. So anyway, yeah, it’s warm-ups that night, and as I’m stretching out, doing whatever — I make eye contact with A.I. The Answer is on the floor, and he’s talking with some of the guys. I’m a little starstruck, to be honest, so I don’t approach him or anything. But then when he gets done with his conversation, it’s so wild…. he actually comes my way. Literally asks me how I’m doing, like he knows me. Like he’s been watching me. Tells me to keep working hard, keep doing my thing. And then he puts his arm around me, I swear to God — like he’s talking to me one Sixers point guard to another, and no one else should hear us.

And he says, “Hey, man. Hey. We’re gonna be alright.”

It’s a great read. Check it out: