Markelle Fultz, the 2017 NBA Draft's No. 1 pick, had a terrible rookie season by any available metric. But he hasn't let his bizarre opening NBA season keep him down. Aside from a slight by former Sixers legend Dr. J, he's been incognito for most of the summer. And now we know why.
He was in the gym, fixing that jumper Philly fans have been obsessing over since it was revealed he'd injured his right shooting shoulder in training camp. On Thursday, a Players' Tribune video showed his newfound form as he rips nylon from deep (without defenders):
"People didn't really understand," Fultz tells Nuggets PG Isaiah Thomas about his lost rookie season (around the 12-minute mark in the video below). "They thought like, 'Man, he's just being soft.' But I mean it was really an injury. And now I got a chance to sit down and pick apart all these doctors. We figured it out, and I been back to work this summer. And everything's back to even better than what it was."
Here's a comparison with his form in a pre-draft session:
Thomas flew to L.A. to talk with Fultz; their 17-minute convo embedded below. They discuss college (both attended the University of Washington under then-coach Lorenzo Romar), how Thomas was the last pick in the draft, and how the expectations compare with Fultz going No. 1.
Also on tap in their chat: Fultz's ascending Sixers team, how he's gelled with young stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, his desire to be a lockdown defender, and of course, more about his recovering jumper.