Simply put, Markelle Fultz hasn't had an easy entry into the NBA.
After a season full of injury and disappointment, the media and fans alike have not been kind to the young point guard, often hoarding him with questions about his mediocre showing.
J.J. Reddick, Fultz's veteran teammate in the backcourt, is tired of all the noise. Here's what he said to Zach Lowe on his podcast, regarding how the media has treated the young Sixer in his short NBA career:
Redick: Fultz has been out in LA. By all accounts [from people I’ve talked to] he’s currently doing well.
Lowe: You were very protective of him last year. There was one time at practice where you [got angry]. Was that about the media? Everyone says he’s a wonderful kid, that's the one thing you hear constantly from everybody so did you feel sympathy towards him? Did you think it was covered unfairly?
Redick: [I know] you have a responsibility to cover the story, I get it. What made me angry that day, and it had been festering, was the way in which people were covering [his issues]. Every practice you’d see this mad rush [by the media] to get prime footage location. They’d record him doing mundane things. At that point we’d seen months of him shooting. That day Bryan Colangelo had a press conference and after that they all come in with body language like they were vultures preying over a dying, decaying body. The kid was 19, he’s clearly going through something. I got angry and basically cussed them out. He was my rookie so I guess I was protective but also empathetic. Whatever he was going through, physically or mentally, as an athlete we’ve all been there. There’s varying degrees of extremes to that but we’ve been there.
Perhaps it's time the media take it easy with Fultz?
None of us know what's going on behind the scenes, but we should definitely give the guy a chance to prove he is more than what we've made him out to be.