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How 76ers rookie Markelle Fultz returned to the game



PHILADELPHIA – The loudest voice in the Philadelphia 76ers wardrobe belonged to the one who had little or nothing to say for a few months. Markelle Fultz could not explain to anyone, not even to himself, that the gifts and the swag that had made him worthy to take on number one were not taken as much as they had fled.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1

.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Basketball, which has long been its sanctuary, suddenly became the place where he was judged. Videos of his training sessions were watched like highway crashes, speculation about what caused the problems grew and formed a narrative he could not control. A The right shoulder and imbalance of the shoulder blade muscle was used as the cause of his problems, but many in the league, and even those who had known Fultz for years, felt that the problem was more between the ears than anywhere else. "data-reactid =" 17 "> Basketball, which has long been its sanctuary, had suddenly become the place where it was judged. Videos of his workouts were watched like highway accidents. Speculation about what had caused the problems grew and formed a narrative he could not control. A right shoulder and an imbalance of the scapula muscle were used as the cause of his problems, but many in the league, and even those who had known Fultz for years, felt that the problem was more between the ears than usual.

Robert Covington, back, helps Markelle Fultz celebrate his return to court Monday night. (19659003) More

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "After an overwhelming and encouraging Returning on Monday the 76ers won the Denver Nuggets – with standing ovations and chants of his name from the local crowd, a few flashes of his skill and of course the expected rust – Fultz was asked for the shoulder, but ignored the question Instead, he searched for a towel to wipe the sweat from his forehead, and Fultz buried his face in the towel and raised his head to find an audience waiting for an answer, but he remained silent until a 76ers' public relations officer after the Another question trying to get Fultz to talk over his shoulder was answered with silence again. Fultz would not feed that story, not on a night when he wanted to create a new one. "data-reactid = "29"> Well a resounding and encouraging return on Monday in the 76ers win over the Denver Nuggets – completed with standing ovations and chants of his name from the local crowd, a few flashes of his abilities and, of course, the expected rust – Fultz was asked for the shoulder but ignoring the question, instead of looking for a towel to wipe the sweat from his forehead. Fultz buried his face in the towel and lifted his head to find an audience waiting for an answer, but he remained silent until a member of the 76ers public relations asked for the next question. Another attempt to get Fultz to speak over his shoulder was again answered with silence. Fultz would not feed that story, not on a night he wanted to create a new one.

"I love this game to death and I know things happen," Fultz said after scoring 10 points with eight assists in his first game after an absence of 68 games. "I just had a lot of teammates, front office staff and trainers who really helped me in those tough times, I just worked every day, that's all … it was a long journey to come here, and it felt good. "

For all those frustrating and confusing nights, for all those days when his self-confidence had sunk so low that he struggled to lift his arms to shoot or Fultz even came on the Ball and came to the conclusion that he could only get ahead of this mysterious radio to come back to the square. Fultz went to Seattle and hung around the University of Washington during the All-Star break and came back to retreat to the floor, sources told Yahoo Sports. His rookie year was not what he had dreamed nightmistress Adam Silver would welcome him into the NBA, but it did not have to be worthless just because he lagged behind the other rookies.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The Philadelphia 76ers have expectations with the otherworldly ones Talents of Joel Embiid and Ben Already Exceeded In the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs Simmons threw the team into an anticipated home-field battle and threw Fultz to the floor against a Nuggets team, even in a fight over the postseason When priorities shifted from their last game, they could be considered risky, but coach Brett Brown, Fultz's teammates and the 76ers-Brass understood how important it was to have him in uniform and play games and even making mistakes. "data-reactid =" 36 "> The Philadelphia 76ers have already surpassed expectations with the otherworldly talents of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, leading the team into an anticipated battle for home advantage in the playoff's first round Eastern Conference brings. Putting Fultz on the floor against a Nuggets team, even in a post-season battle, at a time when priorities had shifted from the last time he played, could be perceived as risky. But coach Brett Brown, Fultz & # 39; teammates and the 76ers-Brass understood the importance of having him in uniform, making games and even mistakes.

While Fultz & # 39; Returning from the inquisitive shoulder injury, Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo declared a "mental component" to recovery.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "All-Stars" DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love has been raising awareness of Mental Health in recent weeks with the help of a platform that built on its success, increasing more responsibility than ever before by trying to navigate in a league that shows little mercy or patience. Those who can not cope are often left behind. "data-reactid =" 38 "> All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love have been raising awareness of mental health over the last few weeks and have used a platform based on their success on the pitch, and Fultz is still 19 years old trying to take on more responsibility than ever before, trying to navigate a league that shows little mercy or patience, those who can not cut it are often left behind.

"Just look at what he's been through "Brown said," It's ridiculous what he went through. He understands it. I get it. That's the touchstone you get when someone says, "And with the first choice in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers elect Markelle Fultz." That comes with pressure, responsibility and recognition. It is just such an untypical way, how someone enters the professional sport. I know what I know and see what I have seen, and to understand how special this child is from a human point of view, it is a good day.

Fultz needed the game again, he needed more than these two-on-two or three-three scrimmages, and he certainly needed more than these individual exercises that had become so commonplace and monotonous He needed something that could only result from what he had worked for his entire life, his heart was racing so hard it was hard to breathe, feeling the sensation of adrenaline in a ridiculous over-the-shoulder – Heard the roar of the crowd – though he was not quite sure what they said late in the fourth quarter when Philadelphia chanted the Skol singing of the Minnesota Vikings by saying "Fultz! Fultz! "

" I thought they said & # 39; Nick Foles & # 39; "Fultz said about the Super Bowl MVP quarterback for champion Philadelphia Eagles," then I realized it, and it was pretty stupid. These fans are great and I love them. Brown

Brown mentioned that Fultz is "unlike anything we have" because he gives the 76ers a dynamic guardian who can make plays for others and himself.What Fultz did to the 76ers either the rest of the season, the Playoffs or beyond is not determined by what happened on Monday night, but Fultz had some encouraging moments after he entered into sales almost immediately after entering the game, Joel Embiid helping him overcome some of these uncertainties Fultz went on to take 13 shots, including a jumper climbing high off the rim before he fell and lifted Embiid from his seat During his first round, Fultz was afraid to shoot something that was not on the edge.

"I feel like I've been going through with him since he's here, so I was really proud on him, "said Embiid. "Honestly, there really was no expectation, my message to him was always to be patient and, whenever you want, not only to be healthy, but to be just as confident and there is a risk of coming back, especially if the team plays well and we need to involve him "

Perhaps the only positive result of his long absence was that expectations were tempered, which made it easy for Brown to take him slowly or extend the leash if Fultz proves himself more worthy. This return was more about the long game, which gave Fultz something to build from this offseason. Fultz can only hope that the worst is behind him, that he already has a promising start by withdrawing from what plagued him and getting back to action.

Fultz was examined for the first time in a while for what he did in a game. Not the practice field or some preparation games with the assistant trainers. Fultz even criticized his own game while standing in front of his locker room booth and telling a 76ers employee that he wished he had soaked his first shot because he was alone on the edge. "Be my luck," Fultz said with a grin, "I would try to grab the edge so tight …"

Fultz laughed instead of finishing his thought. Even if he was joking, he would not mention that shoulder.

<p class = "Canvas Atom Canvas Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" Type = "text" content = " More from Yahoo Sports: [19659016] • Passan: The Optimistic Treatment of Shohei Ohtani is an Unnecessary Joke Former MLB All-Star Albert Belle Arrested DUI
Grayson Allen Leaves a Complicated Legacy at Duke [19659017] • Report: Odell Beckham will not play without an extension
"data-reactid =" 59 "> More from Yahoo Sports:
• Passover: The Optimistic Treatment of Shohei Ohtani Is An Unnecessary Joke
• Former MLB All-Star Albert Belle Arrested at DUI
• Grayson Allen Leaves Complex Legacy at Duke
• Report: Odell Beckham Will not Play Without Prolongation


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