Markelle Fultz is supremely-confident heading into his second year in the NBA.
In a sit-down with Isaiah Thomas, the 20-year-old said he’s healthy following a mysterious shoulder injury that derailed his rookie season, and eager to unleash a remade jumper.
— Percy Allen (@percyallen) September 20, 2018
Fultz, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, appeared in just 14 games with the Philadelphia Sixers.
On rookie season: “I think I learned more than most rookies learned just because the stuff with injuries and everything like that. But I think I had great vets who taught me the system quick. Most stories I hear is most rookies get left on their own because the vets have got their business to take care of, but with me I felt like we were all connected. When we go on the road we would go out to eat and just chat it up. I used to talk to my friends on other teams and be like yo do y’all go out to eat? And they would be like nah, you go out to eat on your own. So it was just dope. It just made you feel more special.”
On being injured last season: “It was a lot of things going on about changing shots and all this and a third, but there was an injury there. And for me, I’m a hooper. I’m like, man this ain’t going to stop me. Once I realized I really couldn’t do stuff to my full capacity, I was like there really is something so I could find out what it was. And we did that throughout the season. It took a long time, which people really didn’t understand. They thought man, he’s just being soft. But like there was really an injury. And now I got a chance to sit down and pick apart all of these doctors and we figured it out. I’ve been back to work this summer and everything is back to even better than what it was. Right now I’ve really started to just go out there and showcase my full ability, but it’s going to be a surprise. That’s why you don’t see me on social media right now posting videos of me shooting and everything because I want it to be special when I come back. I want to have people guessing, so it’s going to be good.”
On the upcoming season: “My goal is to just have a great year, really. Sixers fans are going to get somebody who is going to come in and play hard. I think I’m going to be that guy who’s going to be able to create shots for himself and his teammates. That guy at the end of the game when you need a bucket, you don’t really have to call a play. I’m going to get out there on defense. Most people don’t know I like to block shots. I’m going to be a big point guard out there. So just come in and prove myself. Just show why I belong on this stage. That’s really it. Everbody like Joel (Embid) and Ben (Simmons), we’re all out in LA just working. We talk to each other. We talk to everybody. But like, we’re really, really excited. Everybody feel like they’ve gotten better. They worked on something. And we’re excited to come back and live up to what we did last year. We know we had a high year last year so we got to live up it again.”