Tony Snell’s Journey: Chasing a Tenth NBA Season for Medical Benefits for His Autistic Children

The story of Tony Snell, father of two autistic children, who chases the tenth NBA season to receive medical benefits

The neck of the bottle is getting narrower and narrower: Tomorrow at 9pm Italian time the NBA “repair” market will closewith the so-called trade deadline which will bring down the curtain on all operations related to athletes interested in remaining and playing in the most famous professional league in the world. Beyond that line, there will only be a way to get back into the game for those who are currently free agents, that is, without a contract, basically unemployed waiting for a call. Which for some maybe will arrive, precisely because other operations will have fallen apart in the meantime.

A signature that is exciting America

Tony Snell has a contract, but not in the NBA. He currently plays in the Maine Celticsthe affiliated team of the Boston Celtics who participates in the G-Leaguethe development league created by the board NBA to allow young talents on the launching pad or simple veterans who are still waiting for the right moment to return to the main stage to show themselves, competing in a competition that still represents a valid alternative to the transfer to Europe or more exotic leagues.

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Per Tony SnellHowever, returning to the NBA would have a truly particular value and meaning, which certainly goes beyond the basketball context. And for this reason everything l’America, albeit distracted by the long march towards the Super Bowl next Sunday, hopes that in the next 24 hours that blessed calling from one of the 30 franchises can arrive.

The career of Snell, the wife he met thanks to Butler

Snell, 32 years old last November 10th, He played 9 seasons in the NBA. He was selected at number 20 in the 2013 draft by the Chicago Bullsa team in which he played for three years before being sent to the Milwaukee Buckswhere he remained for another three seasons before starting a long wandering between Detroit, Atlanta, Portland and New Orleans, concluded at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Left without a team, in January 2023 he joined the Maine Celticsand then in the summer he carried out a test with i Golden State Warrios, without however finding a contract. That contract which would certainly change his life, especially that of the years to come.

Why Snell is the father of two children with his wife Ashley, met during a barbecue organized by her former teammate Jimmy Butler back in the days of the Chicago Bulls. Kenzo and Karter are two lovely guys, but they were both diagnosed with a autism spectrum disorder. And when the same Tony he underwent some tests (it happened last spring) he in turn discovered that he was suffering from the same disorder.

What would guarantee Snell a tenth NBA season

At first glance, this seems like a story like many others. But in America there is a magic word that in this kind of house takes on a truly remarkable meaning: è “lifetime guaranteed medical insurance”the one whose players NBA they can enjoy after 10 years of activity in the league. A Snell, one is missing: that contract could guarantee assistance for him and his family even after the end of his career as an athlete. And in addition to insurance, even the pension received by Tony would have many more zeros attached.

“My intention is to return to play, because I still feel like an athlete and I’m also demonstrating it in G-League. However, it is clear that at this moment I also have something more important it’s worth fighting for, and I make no secret of it.” He contributed to defining the terms of the benefit system an agreement between the NBA and the NBAthe players’ union.

The long wait: for now the phone doesn’t ring

If a signature does not arrive in the next 24 hours, the former Bulls winger would still have other opportunities to try to get a contract and thus make his entry into NBA for the tenth season overall, but will have to wait until next fall.

For now though his “appeal” seems to have fallen on deaf ears: none of the 30 franchises would have picked up the phone to try to strike up a negotiation and ask Snell to join their roster. Word had spread that they had done it Lakers, but the rumors were denied.

What is certain is that the whole story has put the spotlight back on a particularly sensitive problem in the US world such as that linked to autism, so much so that the NBA could also review its parameters to allow athletes to be admitted to the program established at the time, also granting an exception in Snell’s case. Who would also prefer to earn those benefits simply by playing.

2024-02-07 13:48:41
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