Markelle Fultz may have had his abilities stolen by Monstars or suffered amnesia this summer. They’re the only explanation for how the muscle memory that enabled him to dominate every court he stepped on for the first 19 years of his life, has seemingly abandoned him so quickly after he mangled his own jump shot.
Fultz’s mellifluous scoring arsenal is what propelled him to becoming the No. 1 overall draft pick last June. However, Fultz forgetting how to shoot and modeling his new shooting mechanics after Chuck Hayes convulsing at the free-throw line was one of the most mysterious developments of the preseason.
Fultz’s replacement jump shot was stranger than the new puppy new parents buy to replace the old dog that died the night before so their toddler wouldn’t notice. We noticed.
It wasn’t until Fultz was diagnosed with a muscle imbalance in his shoulder that a sense of relief washed over Philadelphia. Rather than reinforcing a theory that The Process was eternally cursed after purposely flatlining for four seasons and extreme tanking into the NBA afterlife, then coming back, in an attempt to game the lottery system, it provided the Sixers with a medical explanation for his odd rickety, new shooting motion.
The expectation was that after briefly recuperating, Fultz would revert back to being the all-around playmaker who was picked first in the 2017 Draft.
Unfortunately, amateur footage of Fultz going through warmups before the Sixers lost to the Boston Celtics in London, has restored those fears. Jayson Tatum, whom Boston drafted with Philly’s pick, thriving in a win over the Sixers added insult to injury.
In the Zapruder film below, Fultz is seen pulling up off the dribble, pausing for half a second in his hitch and launching his shot from a crooked, low release point. It looks like he’s shotputting a boulder toward the cylinder.
This second clip gives a more definitive look at not just his mechanics, but at how he still hasn’t regained a modicum of his touch.
I don’t get it, Markelle Fultz gets to the NBA and all of a sudden forgets how to shoot? pic.twitter.com/Oofz8gF0RF
— FlightMike (@TheFlightMike) January 11, 2018
It may be time to put an APB out for his addled, missing shooting motion like you would for an elderly grandparent who accidentally wandered out of an assisted living facility. If you see a shooting motion belonging to one Markelle N’Gai Fultz, please return it to the Wells Fargo Center in Philly or contact NBA Security.
A 3-point shooting contest between Fultz and Lonzo Ball would be the most intriguing event at the 2018 All-Star weekend and there’s a chance the odds would be on the Lakers point guard winning handily. After shooting flawlessly throughout his developmental basketball years, Fultz fractured his jumper in an attempt to improve his motion and the result were mechanics that resembled an ostrich trying to fly with broken wings. It’s been three months and Fultz’s shooting motion hasn’t healed.
The worry meter in Philly should officially be upgraded to include a siren. Fultz’s short-term potential to play off-ball alongside Ben Simmons is severely compromised if he’s shooting gutterballs. Fultz’s strength was his outside shooting, an area Philly is lacking in. Long-term, his NBA existence is in doubt. Fultz’s basketball amnesia is one of the most puzzling episodes in recent league history. It’s January and there are still no answers in sight.
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