Markelle Fultz excited for Magic coaches who aren’t ‘just going to tell you what you want to hear’


The 76ers frequently said Markelle Fultz seemed just fine.

He obviously wasn’t. He couldn’t shoot. At times, it seemed he could barely hold a basketball.

But Philadelphia kept insisting Fultz was OK. 76ers coach Brett Brown played him late last season, including in the playoffs. Brown even started Fultz to begin this season.

Finally, Philadelphia traded Fultz to the Magic.

“It just excites me really to know that I have coaches that’s going to push you to be better and not just going to tell you what you want to hear,” Fultz said at his introductory press conference today.

It can be difficult for players to compliment a new team without it sounding like a jab at their old team. Maybe Fultz didn’t intend to compare Philadelphia’s and Orlando’s coaches here.

But that comment at least raises eyebrows.

Otherwise, Fultz is sticking to his story: His shooting woes aren’t a mental issue.

“I had an injury,” Fultz said. “So, I was out there trying to play through that. I never lost confidence.”

What does Thoracic Outlet Syndrome feel like?

“It was hard to explain to people,” Fultz said. “But it’s almost like hard to lift up your arms. You lose feeling in your fingers. It’s not really – you can’t tell when it’s going to happen. It’s not like you do the same motion every time. But it’s just you get tingling in your fingers, numbness, stuff like that.”

Fultz is still trying to rehab from that. When he was initially diagnosed with TOS, the reported expectation was he’d return in 3-6 weeks. That was more than 10 weeks ago. More recently, Fultz’s agent said he expected the guard to play again this season.

But Fultz isn’t revealing a timeline.

“I’m just taking my time and just doing everything the right way so I can get back to being the Kelle that I know I am,” Fultz said.

That’ll be a long journey.