I wrote Thursday about Markelle Fultz’s introductory press conference in Orlando.
Did he take a shot at the Sixers? Or was his quote received the wrong way? Coggin ripped Markelle this morning, and while I’m not 100% certain he was intentionally shading Philly, my takeaway was that Markelle didn’t do himself any favors by leaving this quote open to interpretation:
“…Another thing I’m big on is just the relationships and everything like that. I heard a lot about coach, not only from players that played here, but a lot of players across the league that I’m really close to. I think it just excites me to know that I have coaches that are going to push you to be better and not just gonna tell you what you want to hear. So from that aspect that made me even more excited.”
People argued about that quote on Facebook and Twitter over these past 24 hours.
Interestingly enough, his mother Ebony, who reportedly is very involved in Markelle’s life and day-to-day affairs, said this to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who covers the Magic:
That sentiment — that the Magic will be patient — seems to be the biggest takeaway Markelle and Ebony Fultz have taken from their interactions with the team so far.
“I get a great vibe,” Ebony Fultz said. “It’s very refreshing to hear the positivity, the support that they have for (the players) and the fact that they’re constantly saying, ‘We want to do this the right way.’”
This is another head-scratcher of a quote.
You wouldn’t say it’s “refreshing” to hear certain things from the Magic if you had not been hearing those things from the Sixers, right? Like I wrote yesterday, Brett Brown gave Markelle a starting job he didn’t really earn. Fans cheered him just for attempting a jumper. He had enormous, overwhelming support in Philadelphia.
In fact, things could not have been more positive. It was so positive that it was ultimately confusing. It was the most ANTI-PHILLY thing I’ve ever witnessed when it comes to how we treat athletes.
Only Markelle and Ebony know what they were really trying to say, but when I read his quote and her quote, I think myself, “hmm.. they just aren’t doing themselves any favors.”
When you take this quote, Markelle’s iffy quote from yesterday, and his history of vague social media posts (i.e. “you really can’t trust nobody”), and put the whole thing into a crock pot, it comes off less like a tasty Hungarian goulash and more like a watery and unsightly gruel.