An old Chinese riddle has puzzled philosophers and seekers of truth for decades.
“If the first overall pick of the NBA draft takes a parting shot at the city and the coach that supported him for two angst-filled years, does anyone care?”
All apologies to Danny Watkins, but the biggest draft bust in Philadelphia history just couldn’t help himself. Markelle Fultz couldn’t resist taking one last passive aggressive shot at the coaching staff, fans, and city that cheered every awkward attempted three pointer, every herky jerky free throw, and every head-scratching excuse for an ever-devolving jump shot the cherubic cheeked failure could throw at us.
At least this time he said it to reporters instead of posting it on social media like a 16-year-old girl who was just dumped by her boyfriend before the big Spring Fling Dance.
“You really can’t trust NO ONE !! How could he have done this to me?!” We get it, Emma, enough already.
Talking to the assembled Orlando Magic media for the first time since being traded for a case of floor wax and Jonathon Simmons, Fultz decided it would be the perfect opportunity to toss a molotov cocktail at the franchise that went to exorbitant lengths to protect him and his delicate psyche at every turn.
During his introductory press conference, Fultz pontificated on what excited him about the change of scenery from Philadelphia and what would enable him to be a better player for Orlando:
“It just excites me to know that I have a coach that’s going to push you to be better and not just going to tell you what you want to hear,” Fultz said.
Oh, so that’s what Fultz needed….he just needed some tough love to reach the dizzying heights of a so far wasted professional career. He wasn’t held back by a mysterious pseudo-injury, or the yips, or a domineering mother, or his inability to ride a BMX bike…no no no, it was the yes men in Philadelphia that didn’t challenge him enough who held him back from truly being great.
Like an elementary school student who acts out in class because the curriculum is too easy, the young lad just needed more of a challenge to BLOSSOM as an athlete. Orlando and its rabid fan base of octogenarians looking to get out of the heat will surely give him the push he needs to successfully shoot a 15-foot jump shot without dislocating both shoulders.
The level of expectations for Fultz in Orlando is the perfect amount because there are NO expectations for playing in Orlando. There are no expectations for anyone in Orlando other than not being eaten by an alligator. That’s it. As long as Fultz isn’t dragged into the murky runoff of a canal and death-rolled by a 15-foot gator, his tenure in Orlando will be considered quite the success. The bar isn’t too high.
It’s perfect for him. He can make all of the passive aggressive tweets he wants, all the excuses he wants, and the fans won’t care. The Magic aren’t going anywhere in the next five years and the fans don’t care. They’re too worried about getting their Fast Pass tickets all lined up for the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, starring Aerosmith, to care what a baby-faced shooting guard with tremendously wasted talent has to say.
So God bless this unholy union between a coddled professional athlete who will never understand how easy he had it in Philadelphia and the swamp he now finds himself playing in. I’m sure he’ll enjoy touring Disney World with his mother and taking awkward pictures on Splash Mountain where he’s the only rider who’s incapable of fully extending his arms over his head for the final big drop.
Enjoy it Markelle. We all eagerly await your Magic debut in game 78 of the 2025 season. Your road to obscurity begins now.