T.J. McConnell has been mic’d up this season and on Friday we saw the unedited, perfect, dorky perfection that is T.J. McConnell.
The motivation he offers teammates is kind of whatever. It’s fairly standard fare for an NBA player, but it’s the moments in between, and the trash talk that makes this all special. McConnell is clearly a self-aware dork. He deeply understands he is not cool, and leverages it to his advantage. Whether that means asking people if they understand his jokes, or if they’ve seen the movie Gladiator, he’s always there with a quip.
That whole Gladiator thing is a trip too, because after he makes sure people understood his arms up gesture he remarks “that’s like the one cool thing I’ve done in my life.” So we’re clear: The coolest thing T.J. McConnell can ever remember doing is an arm gesture from a 21-year-old movie.
That, my friends, is sign of a dork.
Every team needs a dork. The dork is a critical part of an organization. The dork helps keep things light, the dork makes everyone else feel a little better about themselves. The dork builds confidence. Really they’re the point guards of the world, distributing their dorky offerings so much cooler people can make the plays and get all the glory. So it’s perfect that he’s a distributor on, and off the court.