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PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 18: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Center on October 18, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

At one time, Markelle Fultz was the “missing piece.” The combo guard from Washington had risen up draft boards to become the consensus #1 overall pick in the draft. The problem was, the Sixers held the 3rd overall pick. But former GM Bryan Colangelo struck a deal with Boston to move up to #1 and draft the versatile combo guard. The city of Philadelphia was elated.

In the summer league Fultz looked as advertised, and had even gained the attention of former MVP’s like Kevin Durant who tweeted about his “hessi pullup jimbo”

But like Ben Simmons with his jump shot (it was there, go back and look) somewhere between summer league and game 1 something went wrong. When Fultz returned his shot was broken. Fultz and his team blamed it on “Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.” Fultz simply never panned out despite the organization’s patience. But it wasnt just the organization who was patient with Fultz, it was also the fan base.

Fultz was cheered when he returned. He was even cheered when he took shots because the fan base wanted to show the guard that we were behind him. But the national media likes to assume. So when Markelle Fultz was traded for Jonathan Simmons and a draft pick (that eventually became Tyrese Maxey) the national media assumed that Philadelphia had turned on Fultz. Not the case!

Fultz joined former NBA vet Etan Thomas’ podcast and discussed the fan base;

“I think a lot of people get confused because they hear from the media that the fans treated me bad but I never felt like the fans treated me bad,” Fultz told Thomas. “They always showed love when I was in the game. They were very supportive, they were very happy. I got a standing ovation when I came back. And I understand that Philly love. They die and breath their team. So theyre going to get on you when youre doing bad and theyre going to love when you youre doing good. And thats kind of how my mom raised me. So that never bothered me, but I think a lot of people got confused with the media talking about all the Philly fans do this and that but I always felt love from them.”

Will this change the national media’s lazy narrative? No. They will still go to the well of “snowballs at Santa.” and claim that the fan base ran Ben Simmons out of town when he is eventually moved. But there are players out there who GET us. And it turns out Markelle Fultz is one of them.