The Markelle Fultz saga in Philadelphia was one of the most mysterious situations within the Philadelphia 76ers' organization, and that's saying a lot considering everything that has happened over the years.
As a former first-overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Fultz was expected to join the Sixers and immediately help a young Sixers team contend. However, his journey took a strange turn as he suffered a shoulder injury early on during his rookie season.
After coming back from the injury, Fultz's shooting mechanics weren't the same. And during his sophomore effort in the NBA, the young guard was eventually diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. After appearing in 36 total games for the Sixers between 2017 and 2019, Fultz eventually found himself traded to the Orlando Magic.
Around the time he was traded, many within the national media insinuated that Fultz was run out of town due to the way the Sixers handled his situation and due to poor treatment from the fans. However, Fultz doesn't want the latter narrative to exist as the young veteran feels there was nothing but support for him during his time donning a 76ers uniform.
On a recent episode of "The Rematch with Etan Thomas," Fultz joined former NBA player Etan Thomas and discussed his time with the Sixers. Knowing all that was said about how Sixers fans treated Fultz during his hard times in Philly, the young guard decided to tell the story from his perspective to set the record straight.
"I didn't feel like hate or anything," Fultz said. "I felt love even from the fans. I think a lot of people get confused because they hear people in the media talking about how the fans treat me bad, but I never felt like the fans treated me bad. I felt like they always showed love when I was in a game, they're very supportive. They're very happy. I got a standing ovation when I came back. I understand that Philly love. They die and breathe their team, so they're gonna get on you when you're doing bad; they're gonna love you when you're good, and that's kind of how my mom raised me, you know?"
While the Fultz saga in Philly was still a massive disappointment, it was evident the former first pick needed a fresh start as there was a point of no return for him within the Sixers' organization. Therefore, the front office decided to dish him out ahead of the 2019 trade deadline and sent him to the Orlando Magic.
Fultz might be facing some challenging obstacles in Orlando as well as he suffered an ACL injury last year. Still, the young guard seems to be in a much better place these days as he works on getting back on the court and becoming the dominant player he was brought into the NBA to be.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.