Bryan Colangelo maintains Sixers have been ‘transparent’ with Markelle Fultz injury
Philadelphia 76ers president Bryan Colangelo doesn’t think Markelle Fultz’s injury has been mishandled by the organization, and even after sitting the rookie point guard for the next three games, he still maintains the idea that the franchise has been “transparent” about his status.
Fultz showed all the wrong signs when he suddenly started taking his free throws differently during practice, in a rather odd way — unworthy of a No. 1 overall pick by any stretch of the imagination.
The 19-year-old carried the same awkward-looking form into the regular season, shooting 6-of-12 from the line throughout his first four games of the year and failing to help the team very much through his short few stints off the bench.
Colangelo said the Washington product told the team that his shoulder was bothering him around the start of training camp, back in late September. He received a cortisone shot on Oct. 5, only a day after finishing with four points on 2-for-13 shooting in a preseason-opener against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Fultz sat out the following game against the Boston Celtics the very next day for what the team called right shoulder soreness. Colangelo insisted the team didn’t have to get down to specifics when first reporting the injury.
“We don’t necessarily report every single thing we do medically to players,” Colangelo said of not disclosing the cortisone shot, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “There’s a lot of things that happens in a training room and doctor’s office that… if you want to know, I had my knee drained and a cortisone shot put in last week… I didn’t report it because I didn’t think it was necessary.”
Colangelo’s sardonic and often-sassy response to this very question shows the root of the one constant this city has had when it comes to the Sixers — rookies always get injured.
From Joel Embiid, to Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Ben Simmons, and now Fultz — the Sixers’ young blood is always part of the infirmary for one reason or another — and details always come out by pieces, like searching for a piece of jewelry in murky waters.
Fultz’s agent Raymond Brothers first told ESPN his client had his right shoulder drained and that he couldn’t put his arms up, hence the awkward-looking free-throw motion fans have now become accustomed to see. Brothers retracted to say he meant to say he had fluid put in through a cortisone shot, saying the point of his comment was to say the rookie was experiencing discomfort and his play was directly reflective of that.
“I think we have been transparent,” Colangelo said. “I don’t know what prompted the comment by the agent to the report last night. We did have a communication about it after that.”
“But again, there’s a lot of things that go into the noise that’s out there. Again, we are trying to do the best for Markelle and by Markelle to put him in a position to succeed.”
Brothers said Fultz insisted on wanting to help his team by coming off the bench, but wisdom cautions why the organization would take the risk at him sustaining further injury on the court by playing him in the first place.
If Colangelo knows, he already feels transparent.