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T.J. McConnell is the great teammate every NBA roster needs

Whether it’s pulling his team’s star from a scrum or giving great hugs, T.J. McConnell is Philly’s cult hero.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Four Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Every NBA team needs a T.J. McConnell, and him dragging an absolutely raging Jimmy Butler carcass away from a potential squabble against the Hawks is all the proof you need.

Butler accidentally got clocked in the head by an Alex Len elbow on Friday. Before he could get off the floor, the 6’2 McConnell lugged his new 6’8, 220-pound teammate the heck out of the paint and out of trouble.


And it’s not even the only teammate highlight he had on Friday. After draining a three-point shot in the corner next to former 76er, Justin Anderson, he gave him a gut punch.

For real:

This has become common for the smallest Sixer.

McConnell’s likability among Sixers fans is off the charts.

I mean sheesh, his iconic play is a backcourt pesky-gnat type of steal:

He’s also known for his dance moves:

(That looks like he just learned how to dance from YouTube.)

He gives hugs:

There was the time he wore his literal wedding suit to his Sixers exit interview:

The time when Joel Embiid made his Twitter picture a side-by-side of McConnell and Michael Jordan fist-pumping:

And who could forget one of the most iconic Process pictures of all-time:

But the love from fans doesn’t stretch beyond the court

For all of McConnell’s memeability and in-the-moment glory, the common Philly resident in doesn’t recognize him in public. When the 76ers were in D.C. this week, I asked McConnel if he gets stopped as a celebrity when going to buy clothes or doing any other basic human errands. “It literally never happens,” McConnell said.

With a slender build and slightly-above-average height, McConnell gets away with what his seven-foot friends can’t.

“I look like a normal guy,” McConnell admitted. “Especially if I put a hat on, I guarantee you 99 percent of people wouldn’t know what I look like. I’m out shopping and eating and I just blend right in.”

But could just any normal guy (maybe in a hat) haul Jimmy Butler away from a scrap?

No. That job’s reserved for the NBA’s greatest teammate.