Markelle Fultz holds ‘no grudge’ against 76ers ahead of matchup
Markelle Fultz’s two-year stint with the Philadelphia 76ers was nothing short of a complete disaster. Now with the Orlando Magic and set to face his former team on Wednesday night, Fultz insists he holds no grudges toward the Sixers organization despite how poorly things played out during his tumultuous time in Philly.
“It’s all a business, so it’s no grudge hold or nothing like that,” Fultz said, per a tweet from John Denton of the Magic’s official website, “but there’s definitely going to be an edge of, ‘This is who I am, this is who you drafted.’
“When I’m out there it’s no grudge and I’m trying to win,” Fultz continued. “I’m doing whatever I can to win. If I get the W that will satisfy that grudge match for me. If I don’t get the win, I didn’t win in my eyes. So, that’s my goal – to go out there and get the win and have fun.”
The 76ers selected Fultz with the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Mysterious injuries, ailments and other perplexing issues plagued his two seasons with the team. Fultz saw the court in only 14 games during his rookie season. Then, during the 2018-19 season before he was shipped to the Magic on Feb. 7, Fultz was limited to 19 appearances.
Fultz did not appear in any games with the Magic following the trade and has been eased back into action early on this season. In 10 appearances and five starts, Fultz is averaging 9.7 points, 3.1 assists and 2.0 rebounds while shooting 47.1% from the field and receiving an average of 23.5 minutes of court time per contest.
While those numbers hardly stand out, Fultz’s play so far with the Magic is nevertheless encouraging given how terribly things have gone for him in the NBA. It’s understandable how Fultz is eager to show the Sixers what he can do on Wednesday night, but the fact remains he has a lot to prove to everyone, perhaps including himself, at this critical stage of his career.