Sixers' Fultz bothered by comments made on ESPN
Markelle Fultz missed his 43rd straight game on Monday.
MILWAUKEE – Markelle Fultz is upset over something his coach swears he didn't say.
On the ESPN broadcast on Sunday when the 76ers played the Oklahoma City Thunder, Mark Jones said Sixers coach Brett Brown disclosed in a production meeting that Fultz has "psychosomatic effects" with his shooting. Translation: Jones basically said that Brown stated that the first overall pick in June's draft has a mental block and psychological conflict that prevents him from shooting right.
Fultz was livid upon learning about what Jones said Brown told him. He tweeted Sunday night "You really can't trust NO ONE!!!" The 19-year-old also wrote on Instagram "Nobody call or text me."
Apparently, Fultz didn't want to be bothered by the coach he trusted. The combo guard is off limits to the media because he's not a full participant in practice.
"I was completely misquoted," Brown said before Monday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. "There was no reference to any of that. I've spoken to ESPN this morning. They're very apologetic.
"Markelle Fultz's injury has been well documented. I have talked about this hundreds and hundreds of times."
Brown added that his story about Fultz's shot being affected by a shoulder injury has never wavered. According to the coach, there are times when Fultz still feels pain when rising up to shoot jumpers. That affects his shot, the coach said. However, he was cleared to resume team activities on Dec. 9, when the team announced that the shoulder soreness and muscle imbalance were gone.
But Brown says it's really as simple as a shoulder injury.
"Last night's erroneous reporting was disappointing," he said, calling it "a poor choice of words. That was admitted. We move on."
Now the team, and Brown in particular, must repair the damage and try to regain Fultz's trust.
The coach said he doesn't begrudge Fultz for feeling that way due to "hearing that type of reporting."
"He knows the organization," Brown said. "He knows me. It doesn't require much more to be said than that. We have a responsibility to help him. I think any time there's a poor choice of words like there was last night, do you blame him?"
Fultz missed his 43rd consecutive game on Monday. He has played in only four games, averaging 6.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists.