Now that Philadelphia 76ers second-year guard Markelle Fultz has a diagnosis on his mystery injury, everybody should be feeling a lot better about his situation, right? Doctors figured out the root of the problem, now they just have to allow Fultz to work through it and get back out on the court. Sounds simple enough. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. As many have speculated, Fultz’s issues go beyond just his shoulder complications.
Over the last year, there have been a million and one theories as to why Fultz is struggling. His shoulder is hurt, his jump shot mechanics have been messed with, he’s mentally out of it. All of those things could play into one, but only a couple of these issues have been confirmed. For one, his shoulder issue has been finally figured out, now his physical therapy treatment needs to fix it. And two, according to those who are close to Fultz, his ‘camp’ has made things awkward between Fultz and the Sixers organization.
When we say ‘camp,’ it apparently means his mother. Ebony, Fultz’s mother, has played a large role in his basketball career. As a very over-protective mother, sometimes her involvement has interfered with Fultz’s progress. That’s not to say that she was wrong, but it seems as though her involvement in Fultz’s career has caused a bit of a rift between Fultz and his bosses. We’ve heard that behind the scenes, Fultz could be getting some bad advice, however none of that was confirmed. But when the Washington Post spoke with Fultz’s former trainer, Keith Williams, he believes that Fultz’s issues go way beyond his shoulder setbacks.
Keith Williams Tells His Side of the Story
As Fultz was growing up, Keith Williams took him under his wing. He trained Markelle and helped develop the jump shot that got the Washington product drafted with the No. 1 overall pick. When Fultz was off to Philly though, Williams took a step back as his trainer. Not mainly because Fultz was going to get tips from his NBA training staff. But mainly because Williams’ relationship derailed with Fultz’s mother, Ebony.
“Everybody mishandled all of his relationships,” said Williams, who still makes an effort to maintain contact with Markelle but no longer speaks to Ebony, once a close friend.
Williams did not wish to comment on Ebony’s role, but people with knowledge of the situation describe the mother as an imposing figure in her son’s life.
Problem Not Solved?
There have been strange things going on behind the scenes for Fultz and his peers, according to the Washington Post. Apparently, friends of Markelle’s were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements for reasons that are unknown. Also, she kept a close eye on her son via surveillance cameras that were installed inside his house. According to an anonymous source, there is speculation that “some crazy [expletive] is going on” due to how protective Fultz’s mother is.
This source did not go into detail, but at this point, many reports about Fultz’s behind-the-scenes issues are beginning to match what some of those who were once close to him are saying. It’s unfortunate, but it looks like the Sixers still have a few more things to take care of outside of his shoulder issues. A source close to Fultz suggests that his mother would need to back off a bit in order to make his professional career work with the Sixers. If not, then this could be a long stint of drama if Philly holds on to him.