November 19th was the last time Philadelphia 76ers second-year guard, Markelle Fultz stepped on the court. He played for a season-low of seven minutes and did not see the court once in the second half of the victory over the Phoenix Suns. Less than 24 hours later, Fultz would be deactivated from the team for the next six games and is looking to miss another three-to-six weeks as well due to his most recent diagnosis.
For the last couple of weeks, Fultz has been seeing multiple shoulder specialists. He spent some extra time in New York, and even took a trip to St. Louis, Missouri just find to find out why he cannot get his jump shot back to normal. Finally, Fultz was left with a diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. He will spend time out in Los Angeles with a highly-touted physical therapist named Judy Seto, to get his body right once again.
Although Fultz missed a significant amount of games, he wasn’t exactly absent for all of them. Before the Sixers came and left New York, Fultz was still heavily involved in team activities. His participation was obviously limited, but Fultz made sure to stick around for practices, and even sat with the team on the bench during games. While many speculated that Fultz was beginning to lose his credibility in the locker room, it seems like his presence was uplifting amongst some of those on the team. Especially Sixers head coach, Brett Brown.
Brett Brown Misses Markelle Fultz Being Around
Brett Brown may get criticized plenty for his coaching decisions, but Sixers fans would never discredit Brown’s ability to connect with his players on a personal level. We’re talking about a guy who literally teared up when Dario Saric and Robert Covington were getting moved to the Minnesota Timberwolves. If there’s one coach who absolutely hates losing his players, it’s Brett Brown. Technically, Fultz is still with the Sixers, but he hasn’t been around for about a week now. And according to Sixers reporter Keith Pompey, Brown really does miss having Fultz around the team right now.
“I don’t think that it does,” Brown said of whether it will affect the team. “Personally, I’m happy that there has been some judgment, there’s been an assessment.”
“Just moving forward, I think it’s still waiting to get him back with us and help him get back on the court,” said Brown, who spoke with Fultz on Tuesday. “But at the moment, we miss him. I miss his company. I miss him not being around.”
Brown wasn’t the only person within the Sixers locker room to speak on Fultz recently. Other team leaders such as Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick also made it clear that the team had Fultz’s back no matter what is out there. There’s been speculation that Fultz’s problems are more mental, rather than physical. And also, word got out that Fultz preferred a fresh start with another team. While those rumors have been shot down by Fultz’s reps, the Sixers locker room has not bought into the stories. At least, we don’t think they did.