J.J. Redick defends Markelle Fultz, “The kid’s f****** 19”

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J.J. Redick knows what it’s like to be called a bust long before a player had the chance to develop and find himself. At Duke, Redick was Mr. Everything, a two-time All-American beloved by all (or at least all Dukies). However, in the NBA he struggled and it took him seven seasons — and a lot of hard work to transform his body and his game — to become one of the more reliable shooters and two guards in the NBA.

Redick is on the Sixers now, paid very well for a season to knock down shots and help the team make the playoffs, and to show a young roster what it takes to be a professional.

It shouldn’t be a shock that Redick came to the defense of Markelle Fultz Friday, as once again media came into the Sixers practice facility to watch the rookie — who has not played a game this season and may not — take jumpers. Via Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice.

(Fultz was) not the only one at the practice facility getting mad about the situation. JJ Redick was out on the court getting shots up during shootaround this morning, and he let some choice words fly as the media assembled to watch Fultz shoot. “The kid’s f**king 19,” he made sure to say pretty loudly…

“It is annoying, the guy’s 19, he’s working his ass off. I understand fans want to see his progress, but this is maybe going to be a longer process than we all hoped for,” said Redick. “I don’t get the coming in here every day to like, watch him shoot pull-up jumpers. It’s a little obsessive … we all want to see him back on the court, doing what he loves to do.”

Fultz is a No. 1 pick who had a smooth shooting stroke in college, but by last summer had a shoulder injury and a much funkier release. (Whether the injury caused the change in form or the change in form caused the injury is up for debate.) There is naturally going to be a lot of interest in him — Sixers fans are tasting success this season with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and they want their other star in the mix.

Redick isn’t wrong. Fultz is a rookie dealing with an injury and re-learning his shooting motion. He should get some time to work it out.

Shouldn’t the Sixers have Fultz doing his workouts outside the public eye?