Optimism surrounded the Sixers’ organization leading up to the 2017 NBA draft, and the man responsible for it was Markelle Fultz. Immediately after Bryan Colangelo selected him No. 1 overall, there was an outpour of support from Philadelphia athletes.
When Fultz worked out for the Sixers Saturday, prior to the draft, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Robert Covington greeted him. Their photo together was exciting, and the four getting to bond pre-draft showed how welcoming Embiid, Simmons and Covington were.
Thursday was no different, as each embraced Fultz on Twitter.
— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) June 22, 2017
Embiid and Dario Saric snapped a pic in front of Fultz’s locker pre-workout, which helped raise the hype level big time, and it’s important that these core players develop a rapport with each other. These five will likely be playing significant minutes with each other over their careers and chemistry is essential.
Additionally, they’ll be aided by the rest of Philadelphia’s supporting cast. Many of Fultz’s Sixers teammates also gave him some social media love.
LETS GOOOOOOO— Richaun Holmes (@Rich_Holmes22) June 22, 2017
For the momentous occasion, members of the Eagles also welcomed the 19-year-old guard to Philadelphia as well.
While it’s almost become tradition to welcome teammates to your organization via social media, there’s something different about cross-sport shoutouts. As Fultz is a young building block for the Sixers, Wentz is the Eagles’ foundation. Giving shout outs welcoming Ben Simmons last year and Fultz last night, it’s wonderful that the gunslinger is invested in the Sixers’ growth.
Fellow Huskies were happy to show the love. Sidney Jones starred at Washington as a defensive back while Fultz shined on Washington’s hardwood, and now they’ll get to star in a new city together. Fellow Washington alum and WNBA first overall pick, Kelsey Plum, sounded thrilled for Fultz. The now San Antonio Star and Fultz were caught up in a playful rivalry pre-draft, but Plum ended up repping her college friend as Fultz starts his pro career.
While they may be struggling mightily, Fultz’s welcoming party also consisted of the Phillies and catcher Cameron Rupp.
Welcome to philly @MarkelleF anytime you want a one on one match....not against me but one of our guys they'll do it haha! Embrace the city— Cameron Rupp (@CameronRupp) June 23, 2017
On a night centered around Markelle Fultz joining the Sixers and the organization transitioning into a bonafide playoff contender, support from his Philadelphia brethren and teammates was a welcomed boost. Similar to LeBron and teammates watching the Indians’ World Series games from a suite last season, maybe the up-and-coming Sixers can attract players to follow along on their path to glory.
Fultz is an easy-to-root-for type of player that both athletes and fans throughout the region can support.