Markelle Fultz wants people to get one thing straight: ‘What happened last year was an injury’
Sixers combo guard Markelle Fultz seemed destined to go through a curse of some of the NBA’s most-known No. 1 picks — an injury setback that took him from being the most-sought-after player coming into the league to one sitting on the shelf three games after making his NBA debut.
Fultz’ issues are well-chronicled — a shoulder injury that resulted in a hitch-like shooting motion, one that rendered a beautiful 41.3 percent shooting stroke from deep in college to a non-existent 3-point jumper in the NBA.
While there had been rumblings that it was a desire to change his shot which caused a lengthy absence during the regular season, Fultz wants to make one thing clear.
“What happened last year was an injury, let me get that straight,” Markelle Fultz told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, adding he had spoken to trainer Drew Hanlen about his remarks. “It was an injury that happened that didn’t allow me to go through the certain paths that I needed to shoot the ball.”
After making only 14 appearances last season in limited capacity, Fultz left a golden nugget of hope during the regular season finale, getting his first career triple-double, one that in a way justified the Philadelphia 76ers going to lengths to trade their No. 3 pick for the Boston Celtics’ top pick prior to draft night.
“I had a lot of motivation going into this summer,” Fultz said. “This year I was really focused on just working hard to get my shot back to how I would like it.”
His teammates, as well as the fan base have noticed the change from a player hampered by injuries to one confident enough to hurdle them.
“There is zero hesitation,” Brown said. “And it hasn’t been for a month. He hasn’t made all of his shots, but he shouldn’t back away from any of them.”
Fultz has shown some confidence going into the preseason, but has only shot threes in two of his four games thus far, going 1-of-5 from long-range.