Brett Brown Regrets Never Getting A Chance To Really Coach Markelle Fultz

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When all is said and done, we’ll look back on Markelle Fultz‘s first two seasons in Philly and likely see that it was doomed from the start. He missed the majority of his rookie year because of a mysterious shoulder injury, which some started to question whether it might be more mental than physical.

That was exacerbated by the awkward-looking mechanics on his jump shot, which didn’t look promising at all, particularly at the free-throw line. Things deteriorated further when discrepancies arose between his camp and the organization about the nature and severity of his injury.

It finally came to a head in November when he was officially diagnosed with a nerve issue that was allegedly directly affecting his ability to even shoot a basketball. He’s been sidelined ever since as he works to recover, but just before the Thursday trade deadline the team officially parted ways with the sophomore guard in a deal that sent him to Orlando for Jonathan Simmons and a pair of future draft picks.

It was a bittersweet ending to a tenure that has been surrounded by so much upheaval, and Fultz’s former coach Brett Brown took a moment to lament his departure before the new-look Sixers faced off against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

Still, a fresh start with a new team where expectations are much lower might be precisely what he needs to reboot his young career. There were times in Philly — even amid the chaos — where Fultz was able to flash some of the potential that made him the coveted top overall pick two summers ago.

The pressure to not only recover but to become a contributing member of a team with championship aspirations was simply not conducive to where Fultz is on his NBA journey. Brown now faces a whole different set of challenges as he works to integrate a slew of new rotation pieces, including a borderline All-Star wing in Tobias Harris and the other half of his comedic duo, Boban Marjanovic. Closing the book on the Fultz chapter should provide relief on a situation that wasn’t beneficial to any of the parties involved.