November 14, 2018
In the last few days, two things happened: The Sixers traded for hot-tempered, all-star Jimmy Butler, and Markelle Fultz attempted one of the worst free throws the NBA has ever seen.
Unsurprisingly, questions about whether Butler and Fultz can coexist started to pop up. Butler is hard to play with because he reportedly demands a lot. Markelle Fultz is hard to play with because he is still not very good at shooting a basketball.
This all means drama’s coming, right?
According to NBA “insider” Chris Broussard, it’s only a matter of time.
We put insider in quotes because Broussard’s track record has been iffy over the last few years. (Remember this?) We'd advise you to take his words with a healthy dose of skepticism.
But Broussard is still regarded as someone with access to important information now and then, so here’s his take on the Butler-Fultz marriage:
"Somebody that's close to Jimmy Butler told me Markelle Fultz is done. Jimmy is not going to sit there and coddle him. Jimmy is going to be like, 'I was homeless at one point in my life. ... You're a No. 1 pick, and you can't get your shot right?'" — @Chris_Broussard pic.twitter.com/LA9fJTHLc3— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) November 14, 2018
And for those who like to read about impending doom instead of watching a video about it, here’s what Broussard had to say:
"Somebody told me — that’s close to Butler — somebody told me, ‘Oh, Fultz is done.’ Like, Fultz is done. He’s not — Jimmy is not going to sit there and coddle Fultz. ‘Oh, it’s alright.’ He’s clearly got mental problems with his shot. And Jimmy’s going to be like: *an unimpressed facial expression*
Jimmy’s like, ‘I was homeless at one point in my life. I was a late first-round draft pick. I didn’t play much my first rookie year. You’re a number one pick, and you can’t get your shot right?’"
Broussard also went on to ask whether a similar situation could arise between Butler and Ben Simmons — “You still can’t shoot a lick?” is Butler’s qualm in that fictional scenario — but that seems far less likely considering Simmons is widely considered to be a star on the rise. Fultz, on the other hand, is the ultimate question mark, and things aren’t exactly looking up.
All this noise before Butler’s debut with the Sixers tonight could be one of two things:
1. A lot of hot air and speculation from people outside the team’s locker room, pushing narratives that already have momentum and doing it because they know we will all lap it up. The clip above is, after all, from FS1.
2. Actually be a sign that Butler’s arrival marks the beginning of the end for Markelle Fultz.
The Sixers play the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. You should follow PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck and check back here often for updates on whatever will come next.