‘The Ball Slipped’: Markelle Fultz Not Worried About Free-Throw Woes

by November 13, 2018

Markelle Fultz continues to struggle with his shooting form at the charity stripe, but he insists it’s nothing to worry about.

The second-year guard explains that his latest hiccup—a bizarre double-clutch prior to missing Monday night in Miami—was the result of the ball slipping out his hands.

Looming over everything is Jimmy Butler‘s arrival in Philly, and the effect that’ll have on Fultz’s role going forward.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown knows he’s got a difficult task ahead of him.


“It is [difficult],” Brown told ESPN.com after Monday’s game, a 124-114 Philadelphia victory. “Because you’ve got a human side, and a responsibility to the individual, but mostly you’ve got a responsibility to the team, and somewhere in that pyramid of layers I’ve got to figure it out.

“There’s no book that tells you how to do that. I use my gut feel and best judgement and just keep it very candid. When I feel something, or see something, and you can convey it to you, or the team, or whatever, that’s when I feel comfortable. And so Jimmy is going to come in, we’re going to make a decision on what that looks like, and we’ll roll.”

But Brown made it clear that he isn’t about to give up on Fultz — even as Butler is set to arrive, and the pressure to win on these Sixers is about to increase yet again.

“I mean, it’s so much — for me, it’s so much deeper than, like, the responsibility of being the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2018,” Brown said of trying to help Fultz through this. “It’s growing him and his confidence and his spirit and his game, and helping him navigate through a completely bizarre period earlier in his life, where he’s trying to get through injury and figure it all out. That’s on my mind more than, ‘Do I play him 18 minutes or 12 minutes?’ It’s not that at all. It’s not that at all. And, so, along this path, we’ll figure this out together.”

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