Fascinating read from Philly Voice writer Kyle Neubeck on all that has transpired since last June when the Sixers drafted Markelle Fultz with the #1 pick. Much of Fultz being labeled as a “Can’t Miss Prospect” was based on how effective of a shooter he was during his lone season at Washington, which makes what has occurred over the last 6 months even more startling. Sixers coach Brett Brown was quoted saying that Fultz’s range “doesn’t extend beyond the paint at this point.” Fultz’s shooting struggles offer a fascinating case study on the mental side of shooting, the tensions between a coaching staff and a player’s trainer, and the hype machine that swirls around today’s top prospects. Make sure to read the interview linked beneath the article with shooting expert Herb Magee.
No one aside from Fultz himself can say how much pain he was or was not in, or why he’s on the sideline two months after the team claimed he was 100 percent healthy. But eventually, blind faith will not be enough. Eventually, all the noise, all the excuses, all the openly incredulous reactions will not matter.
Eventually, there will be no other voices, and there will only be Markelle Fultz, that kid locked inside a New Jersey gym dying to rediscover what brought him here. His teammates may love him, his coaches may respect him, and his inner circle may believe in him.
But he will have to shoot, regardless of what anyone around him has to say.