The Philadelphia 76ers have denied claims of Markelle Fultz's shoulder still being injured after his trainer took to social media to defend the youngster by asserting he was still not healthy in a verbal spat with fellow coach.
Fultz has come under much criticism for his shooting this season, finding it hard to establish himself as a key offensive threat under Brett Brown. And, during a poor showing against the Brooklyn Nets on the weekend, personal coach Clint Parks called him out on Twitter.
Drew Hanlen, who runs the Pure Sweat basketball academy, lashed out with a reply which has since been deleted. However, it wasn't binned quickly enough to avoid being immortalized via means of a screenshot.
Hanlen declared that his client is not fully fit, but coach Brown has since knocked back the claim.
"He's been playing basketball and doing well, he's fine," he said via RealGM. "Nobody is 100 percent healthy, but he's healthy enough to play basketball like JJ [Redick] is and Joel [Embiid] is."
The player agreed with the coach that his shoulder feels good, admitting that it's impossible to be at full health all of the time while insisting he's fine.
"For sure, I mean nobody is ever 100 percent healthy in this game," the guard remarked. "You play five games in seven day, you get bumps and bruises, and that's the life of the NBA… Everything feels good. You see me playing and I'm out here competing every day."
Fultz has been logging in 24.3 minutes per game this season, averaging 9.1 points, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals. His playing time does suggest that he's at least healthy enough to play, however, that does not necessarily mean that Hanlen's claims are completely unfounded.
The 20-year-old played 26 minutes for Philly as they beat the Indiana Pacers 100-96 on the road on Wednesday night to go 7-5, scoring 7 points and dishing out 4 assists.