Sixers’ J.J. Redick upset with how media covered Markelle Fultz last season
The Philadelphia 76ers went through one of the weirdest years in recent NBA history last season. One of the main storylines surrounded the first pick in the draft, Markelle Fultz. After he lost his touch on his shot and hit the bench with a mysterious injury, the media began to vociferously cover the rookie’s struggles, and Sixers teammate J.J. Redick took serious exception to this.
Redick appeared on The Lowe Post podcast with ESPN’s Zach Lowe to discuss the situation, among many other things. He told Lowe:
“[I know] you have a responsibility to cover the story, I get it. What made me angry that day, and it had been festering, was the way in which people were covering [his issues]. Every practice you’d see this mad rush [by the media] to get prime footage location. They’d record him doing mundane things. At that point we’d seen months of him shooting. That day Bryan Colangelo had a press conference and after that they all come in with body language like they were vultures preying over a dying, decaying body. The kid was 19, he’s clearly going through something.
“I got angry and basically cussed them out. He was my rookie so I guess I was protective but also empathetic. Whatever he was going through, physically or mentally, as an athlete we’ve all been there. There’s varying degrees of extremes to that but we’ve been there.”
This anecdote shows how important it is to have veteran leadership. Fultz was going through something extremely difficult physically and mentally. He had the media and Philly’s fan base all over him. Redick having his back at that time was probably one of the best things that anyone could do.
Fultz has reportedly been looking better this summer, so hopefully he can figure things out in his second season.