You might need to rethink your Markelle Fultz material. While the young 76ers player's undeniably broken shooting motion has been the subject of plenty of Twitter roasts and even some series deep-dives into old videos of his shot, it looks like Fultz was playing through some serious pain.
According to The Athletic's NBA reporter Shams Charania, Fultz will be out indefinitely to treat a case of thoracic outlet syndrome. The rare affliction occurs when blood vessels and nerves between the collarbone and first rib are compressed and can cause pain and numbness in the shoulders and fingers.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the news via a quote from Fultz's agent Raymond Brothers.
"Markelle (Fultz) has been diagnosed with Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, (TOS), a physical injury," he quoted Brothers as saying. "TOS affects nerves between the neck and shoulder resulting in abnormal functional movement and range of motion, thus severely severely limiting Markelle’s ability to shoot a basketball. TOS is treatable by physical therapy."
Fultz's shooting motion has been so odd of late that it even made its way into other professional leagues. Amari Cooper mocked Fultz's form in a touchdown celebration, a shout-out that Fultz was cool with. The player said that he considered his ever-changing free throw to be a matter of "trial and error" while he worked around a nagging shoulder injury.
"It's something I added right now. Just trial and error," he said, per ESPN's Ian Begley. "It's been working nice for me so I'm going to stick with it for now."
However, it looks like Fultz won't have much time to workshop his shot on the Sixers. The team was already reportedly looking to get rid of Fultz and this news of indefinite injury certainly can't help matters. Compounding issues with the Sixers was how Brothers went about handling news of the diagnosis, running to ESPN rather than telling the team, per Philadelphia sports radio's Howard Eskin.
Regardless of how the team feels about Fultz's agent and lawyer, Brothers made clear to ESPN that his client is suffering from a physical—not mental—issue.