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Reports: 76ers using VR Goggles to help Markelle Fultz fix shooting form

Yash Matange
296   //    13 Feb 2018, 16:56 IST

Philadelphia 76ers v Washington Wizards
2017 No.1 overall pick Markelle Fultz

What's the story?

The Philadelphia 76ers are using VR goggles with Markelle Fultz, hoping to fix the 2017 No.1 overall draft pick's broken shooting form.

In case you didn't know

The 76ers traded for the 2017's #1 (Fultz) draft pick from the Boston Celtics in exchange for their own #3 pick (Jayson Tatum) of the same draft. The fortunes of both the players that were selected with those picks are contrasting, to say the least.

Heart of the matter

Fultz played only four games at the beginning of the season, after which he was shut down due to a shoulder injury, something that was forcing him into a bizarre shooting form. Since then, plenty of videos have surfaced showing no improvement in his jump shot or shooting flow.

Things regarding this case are weird from both ends. A huge reason this has been such a huge controversy and talking point is the way the franchise has handled everything, right from his injury to how they annouced it to the different reports coming out of the locker room regarding his progress.

Sixers General Manager Bryan Colangelo has stated that currently, Fultz's shooting range was restricted to "within the paint". The idea behind using the VR goggles might be weird but not new. According to PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck, the organization has used with injured players before. Here's what he further had to say:

With Fultz, there is a different motivation to get him behind the VR goggles. The Sixers, according to multiple sources, wanted him to be able to visualize the mechanics he'll use in a game, to remember how easy it once was for him to rise up with the ball and shoot from anywhere on the court, and to be able to do so without the glare of the cameras or other people around him. With pressure coming down on him from all angles, turning part of a teenager's job into a video game is one way to relieve the stress of the situation.

What's next?

As the tweet embedded above suggests, there is no timetable and no definitive progress reports shared by the franchise, regarding Fultz's return.


Author's take

Might sound weird but right now, anything that helps Fultz should be a step the franchise takes, which they have but if things still don't work out, it begs the question - who's fault is all of this?

It's the kid's life/career at stake. It's a pity what he's had to go through mentally and physically at his age with his pro experience.

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Yash Matange
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