ORLANDO – Markelle Fultz downplayed his retweet.
But why did he retweet his Jan. 29 post that read 'You really can't trust NO ONE!!" on Wednesday morning?
Multiple sources said it was a reaction to his situation. A couple of hours after that tweet, coach Brett Brown announced to the media that the guard is no longer in the starting lineup. Sources said that he also felt betrayed by shooting coach Drew Hanlen, leading to the retweet.
But Fultz said after the morning shootaround that the tweet had nothing to do with either thing. He also said that coming off the bench doesn't bother him. It's something he's done before.
"My mindset, as soon as I step on the court, is to help my team win," he said. "Every time I step on the court, every time I go in the game, my goal is to be a great teammate and help my team get the 'W.' "
Fultz is no longer working with Hanlen, whom the team hired to work with him last summer in Los Angeles. Hanlen proclaimed back then that Fultz would be an NBA All-Star this season if fully healthy. The trainer has received criticism on social media for overhyping Fultz, who hasn't displayed major improvement early in the season. But Hanlen recently created a controversy by claiming Fultz is "still not healthy," while defending himself in a now-deleted tweet. According to sources, Fultz is physically healthy. However, it's no secret that his shooting woes are mental.
Fultz feels Hanlen basically betrayed him as a way to protect his image, according to several sources.
He started at shooting guard in the Sixers' first 15 games of the season. He was under the impression the acquisition of Jimmy Butler would not affect his role. However, JJ Redick replaced him in the starting lineup Wednesday night against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Butler made his Sixers debut in the game, after being acquired along with Justin Patton in a trade Monday with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It was a foregone conclusion that Fultz would lose his starting spot, because the sharpshooting Redick provides much-needed floor spacing, as Butler and Simmons, the other perimeter players, are not elite shooters.
Sixers coach, Brown said the 2017 first overall draft pick is fine with losing his starting spot.
"Everybody wants Markelle Fultz to do well," Brown said. "We understand he's 20 years old, and has come in with a tremendous amount of expectations. We all get it. But I feel Markelle Fultz has been surrounded by insulation and friends and team, and family. My judgment is he's fine with that."