It’s a name you may not have thought about in a while, but Tony Snell is desperately trying to make it onto a NBA roster by this Friday.
The 32-year-old was a journeyman during his time in the NBA and hasn’t played in the league since he was with NOLA in 2022.
But his love of basketball hasn’t died and he’s currently in his second season with Maine Celtics of the NBA G League.
So, why is the 3-and-D specialist is wanting an NBA comeback more than anything?
So Snell can gain a tenth year of service for the players association’s retiree benefits program, which would make him eligible for the union’s premium medical plan.
This medical plan would cover his entire family, including his wife and two sons, Karter, 3, and Kenzo, 2, who were both diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
“Of course, I want to come back and play, but I have a bigger purpose now,” Snell told Yahoo Sports. “It’s not about me anymore. It’s about my boys.”
In June of 2023, Snell revealed on the TODAY show that he himself had been diagnosed with autism, since his sons’ diagnosis spurred him to get tested.
So, he practices every day with the G League in the hopes of getting a call up to support his family.
“It’s something I truly need,” Snell said. “Not only for myself, but for my wife and my kids.”
When he was playing in the NBA, Snell was a fairly average player and even became a meme legend for his historic stat line of straight zeros in 28 minutes of playing time.
But, he says his ability to mentor the younger players is a big reason that NBA teams should sign him, as it’s something he’s been doing successfully in the G-League
“I want to share my knowledge with the young guys. I have enjoyment from helping them out and showing them what I see,” Snell said. “I’m at the stage where I want to inspire people and help as many people as I possibly can.”
NBA fans are backing Snell on X to get a contract, while also lightly trolling him.
If Giannis' and Brooke Lopez's brothers can ride the bench for a FULL season in Milwaukee, then somebody can certainly sign this man to a 10-Day… do the right thing people 🤔💭
— King Rei (@xKingRei) January 31, 2024
We need one more 🔥🔥🐐 pic.twitter.com/4TohNoGlyn
— Makisha⚒️ (@hepiboj) January 31, 2024
Autism can be a challenging condition to manage, and it's great that Snell is receiving the support he needs. I'm rooting for him to find a team to play for, so he can qualify for the program and secure its benefits for his family.❤️
— ＪᗩＹᑕＥᗴ👻 (@johnluckychi) January 31, 2024