Ho hum. Another week, another scathing controversy/conspiracy brewing about the Philadelphia 76ers.
What’s next? Are we a day away from 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil being found complicit in the JFK assassination? Is Brett Brown really DB Cooper? Is Joel Embiid’s success all a “Jacob’s Ladder” scenario that we’re experiencing during our last moments on our death bed?
For a yet unknown reason (be it the way the planets are aligned, the wind is blowing, or if a full moon is on the horizon) at the direction of his attorney Markelle Fultz is being pulled from all 76ers activity until he sees a shoulder specialist next week.
The strange, sad saga of Fultz has taken yet another strange, sad turn.
No practices. No games. Nothing until Fultz is seen by whatever hack specialist he’s being shoveled off to now.
Oddly enough, Fultz has said nothing about his health this season. He’s said on multiple occasions that he feels “good” and publicly bristled when ex-shooting coach Drew Hanlen said he wasn’t healthy.
Here he is on Nov. 6th saying how good his shot feels.
He had opportunity last night to say he was injured. He did not.
So what changed from then to now? How have we gone from a happy-go-lucky, yet struggling, Markelle Fultz to this:
Is he hurt? Is his shoulder still bothering him? Is he and his team peeved that Brett Brown gave his minutes to TJ McConnell last night?
Now is the time, 76ers, to finally come clean and tell us what you know about Fultz.
Is he hurt?
Was he injured in a BMX accident after he was drafted?
Why is he being sent to a shoulder specialist after assuring everyone he was healthy?
Why did he so publicly split with Drew Hanlen?
Is he upset with being benched for TJ McConnell?
How much of a say do the people around Markelle have on this decision?
All of these questions have been asked by the 76ers beat reporters. None of them have been answered.
No team in the NBA is more clandestine and less forthcoming about injuries than the Philadelphia 76ers. Whether they want to protect their player, protect themselves, protect their embattled medical staff, the team brass is willing to go to the ends of the earth to give the public as little as possible when it comes to injuries.
One day they’re publicly saying Joel Embiid’s knee is fine, the next day he’s being shut down for the rest of the season with a major knee injury.
It’s led to mistrust on the media and fans’ part and rampant speculation with their most controversial draft choice in the franchise’s history.
And, as the team has found out, a willingness of the fans to dig and investigate every last lead when it comes to their team. If you’re hiding something, if something is being kept under wraps, you know this fan base is going to find it eventually.
Just ask Bryan Colangelo. Just ask Barbara Bottini. The fans brought down the 76ers GM, for christ sake, it can bring down the weasely front office if there’s something there.
Here it is, 76ers. The time is now. Transparency is key to salvage any of this and to salvage the season. Do you want this hanging over every game? Every press release put out by the Fultz camp?
More importantly, do you want reporters asking Jimmy Butler about Fultz? About what’s going on?
I’ll answer for you. You do not. You want people buying tickets to see one of the most talented Sixers squads to hit the floor since the Iverson years. You want people buying 76ers merchandise.
You do not want them going down shadowy, forgotten corners on social media and digging into your dirt.
That’s just bad for business. Ask Bryan how he feels about it.
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