Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz and his shooting cannot catch a break.
The cause of it? A motorcycle accident in 2017, per a league source.
I discussed it Monday afternoon on 97.3 FM ESPN Radio with Dashawn Hendricks and Josh Hennig.
See video below:
That claim isn’t baseless.
Less than a week later, at another scrimmage, a Philly.com writer noticed that Fultz was passing up open looks at an Andre Robersonesque clip. It was quite concerning for a player who had risen to the top of the draft board on the strength of being an NBA-ready offensive machine. Sixers coach Brett Brown was asked if he was comfortable with the rookie’s shifting shooting mechanics.
On October 23, after Fultz went 1-for-4 from the field in 16 minutes against the Detroit Pistons, Raymond Brothers, Fultz’s agent, told ESPN that his client “had a shoulder injury and fluid drained out of the back of his shoulder. He literally cannot raise up his arms to shoot the basketball. He decided to try and fight through the pain to help the team. He has a great attitude. We are committed to finding a solution to get Markelle back to 100 percent.”
A year later, Fultz is still struggling with shot form.
Per Deadspin: Fultz went 7-for-9 from the field on Saturday against the Grizzlies, which is encouraging as heck!
But overall, Fultz has refused to take a three-pointer in the month of November.
BUT NOW…he’s pump faking free throws.
Fultz was shooting 60% from the line heading into Monday night’s game. Fultz is young and he will get better because, well, the pressure is now on him with Jimmy Butler coming to town. He will rise to the occassion.
Just a month ago, Chicago Bulls star, Zach LaVine told me that Markelle Fultz is ready. The added pressure of Jimmy Butler holding his teammates Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz to a high standard as he did former teammates Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, may acutally be a great thing. “I haven’t played basketball in so long and I’m so passionate and I love the game,” Jimmy Butler told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in October. “And don’t do it for any other reason except to compete and to go up against the best to try and prove I can hang.”
Butler wants to win and hopefully that mentality rubs off on Fultz. “If your No. 1 priority isn’t winning, andpeople can tell? That’s the battle,” he also told Nichols.
“Now, there’s a problem between people because that guy’s No. 1 priority is winning and that guy’s isn’t. Of course they’re gonna clash, like, ‘I’m doing this for the team. Are you?’ ‘Ehh.’ Exactly. So, that’s where the disconnect is.”
Fultz is a case study in something deeper than basketball mechanics. Hopefully, with Butler arriving to a young, talented Sixers team, he can get the help and support that he needs to be successful.