Stop Worrying About Markelle Fultz

Markelle Fultz is likely done for the year. Philadelphia 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo gave a very blanketed quote when asked about Fultz’s status. “There’s always a chance that he’s going to be out there soon, and there’s a chance that he’s not going to play this year.” He said. The news of Fultz potentially sitting out the rest of the year has sent the NBA Twitter world into a frenzy. The word bust is being thrown around and people are already to lump Fultz with Kwame Brown and Anthony Bennett. But let’s make one thing clear.

Markelle Fultz will be just fine

The day he entered his name into the 2017 NBA Draft, Markelle Fultz received the criticism. “Washington didn’t even make the tournament,” is what many unknowledgeable fans would say. There’s truth to that, but neither did Ben Simmons a year before. The reason is not their fault. If you’re going to point to anything, point to the coaching first. Look at what Will Wade and Mike Hopkins are doing at LSU and Washington, respectively. They both have those programs trending in the upward direction for the first time in awhile. A good coach goes a long way at the college level.

Playing on the West Coast, and not in prime time a lot, left Fultz in the dark most of his year in college. Not many people on the East Coast stayed up to watch a bad Washington team lose in the Pac-12. That is completely understandable. But lack of knowledge or exposure doesn’t make a player less talented.

What’s going on with Fultz is very uncharacteristic, and the cause for concern by Sixer fans is understandable. Even more so when you remember what Philadelphia gave up to draft him. How does a player who has been playing basketball his whole life “forget” how to shoot? The more Fultz stays off the court, the more questions arise and the more people demand to see practice videos of him shooting. The situations are different, but Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons didn’t play their first seasons either. Now Fultz isn’t sitting due to injury, but let’s not turn our backs on a 19 year old so quickly.

It’s all bizarre. Colangelo said today that Fultz can’t shoot outside the paint. That screams scary, but it also seems a little unrealistic Regardless, as you’ve been doing for literally years now, Trust the Process. Don’t jump to negativity before year one is over. If there’s one person who will work his way back, its Fultz.

Markelle Fultz worked his way to the national spotlight. He didn’t grow up a highly touted recruit and prospect. He wasn’t playing varsity basketball as an 8th grader or some of the crazy things you hear top recruits doing at young ages. Markelle Fultz was playing JV basketball as a sophomore. He transformed himself from a kid playing JV basketball to a top 10 recruit nationally through his work ethic. He went from unknown to #1 pick by getting in the gym. The same work ethic that will get this bizarre shot dilemma solved. Take a deep breath, Philly.

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