Photo credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty

Ontological question: If an NBA team chooses its players precisely for their generic inability to compete in the NBA—that is to say, for not belonging in the NBA at all—then are they truly NBA players?

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This question contains a practical component: You could be Generic NBA 2K Create-A-Player and (alleged) Philadelphia 76ers guard T.J. McConnell. For that matter: are you? Am I? Epistemological question: How would you even know? “Well, I know I haven’t played professional basketball this season,” you might say. To which anyone who has watched the 2015-16 NBA season would reply: “Neither have the Philadelphia 76ers.”

From the piece on McConnell that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published today:

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T.J. McConnell had just finished a recent game with the Philadelphia 76ers when he and his father, a few family members and some friends decided to visit an establishment within walking distance of Wells Fargo Center. T.J. was first to the door when a worker announced there was a $10 cover charge, but free admittance with a 76ers ticket stub.

“He played,” said Tim McConnell, pointing at his son.

The worker still wanted $10.

“No, you don’t understand. He played in the game,” Tim McConnell tried to reason.

No matter. It was $10.

Oof. Poor Teej.

[Post-Gazette]