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The wildest Markelle Fultz conspiracy theories you haven’t heard yet

Markelle Fultz is back in the public eye with the announcement he’s healthy and ready for Opening Night. What’s really been going on these past two years?

After months spent mostly working out in private anonymity, everyone’s favorite enigma, Markelle Fultz, was back in the public eye this week, with the announcement that he was fully healthy for training camp and the beginning of the season.

Fultz has played just 33 games across the first two seasons of her career, battling injuries, pain and rumors, building a mystery with brief moments of on-court production interrupted by large periods of absence and grainy Zapruder-ian film clips of him working out in empty gyms.

The truth is, no one really knows what’s been going on with Fultz or what he’s been going through. And in the absence of knowledge and hard facts, a number of wild conspiracy theories have sprung up. Before he gets the chance to get on the court and start dispelling figments of our collective imagination, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the theories his situation has spawned.

Who knows, one of these just might end up being right.

Markelle Fultz’s shooting form is a glitch in The Matrix.

Two years ago, I explored the idea that we may be headed for a future of fully automated basketball — a virtual fan experience that is indistinguishable from reality. But what if, we’re already there? What if the NBA, as we know it, is a computer simulation? What if we are not the autonomous biological beings we assume ourselves to be, but simulations ourselves? If you’ve seen Fultz attempting a jumpshot, at any point in his wild trajectory from can’t-miss prospect to largely anonymous paradox, then you know that nature could never create a bug so…unnatural.

Markelle Fultz’s shooting problems are curable but Big Pharma is suppressing the cure.

I mean, this is obvious. Just follow the money.

Markelle Fultz is somehow involved in an Elon Musk-led cloud-seeding research project.

Take a look at these two photos, taken in 2018, just eight months apart from each other.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 04: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a photo as part of 2018 NBA Global Games China on October 4, 2018 at the Ritz Carlton in Shanghai, China. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on February 6, 2018, on its demonstration mission. – The world’s most powerful rocket, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, blasted off Tuesday on its highly anticipated maiden test flight, carrying CEO Elon Musk’s cherry red Tesla roadster to an orbit near Mars. Screams and cheers erupted at Cape Canaveral, Florida as the massive rocket fired its 27 engines and rumbled into the blue sky over the same NASA launchpad that served as a base for the US missions to Moon four decades ago. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

The first is a photo of Fultz from October of 2018, in China for the NBA Global Games. The second is from eight months earlier, at the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket, at the Kennedy Space Center.

The red arrows point out a very similar cloud in the background of both images. If you’re willing to open your mind to the possibility that these are, in fact, identical clouds. Then the only logical explanation is the successful text of cloud-seeding technology, with Fultz using the trip to China as a cover to gather visual confirmation of the project’s success.

Markelle Fultz was too good and the NBA hates the 76ers.

It’s common knowledge that the NBA was none-too-please with the 76ers and the process-trusting that led them to flirt with the worst record in NBA history and finishing under 30 wins for four seasons in a row. Adam Silver and the league helped facilitate the arrival of Jerry Colangelo to the team’s front office, which was itself the impetus for Sam Hinkie leaving and Bryan Colangelo taking over.

But what if the league’s intent wasn’t just forcing the 76ers into steering away from an embarrassing organizational direction. What if they had something more vindictive in mind?

The NBA wanted the 76ers to stop losing so much but they also couldn’t let them taste success too quickly. If the team’s fortune changed too rapidly, the success would still be attributed to Hinkie. By the time Hinkie resigned in April of 2016, the gears were already churning to deliver Ben Simmons to Philadelphia at the top of the draft. When Colangelo, somewhat stunningly, pulled off a dramatic trade to land the clear top player in the 2017 draft as well, using assets procured by Hinkie, it was just too close for comfort.

The real Fultz, the one who made 41.3 percent of his 126 3-point attempts as a college freshman, was replaced by a double (or a genetically engineered clone) with a debilitating weakness — a jumpshot form that only a mother could love. The 76ers’ ceiling was lowered. Hinkie’s reputation stayed dead. Adam Silver smiled.

Markelle Fultz is a false flag operation.

Remember when everyone was all excited about Joel Embiid’s potential as a stretch big after his rookie season? Two years later he’s made just 30.4 percent of his 3-pointers but is still attempting them at a rate of more than 5.5 per 100 possessions. But everyone was too distracted by Fultz’s ultimate-frisbee inspired shooting form to notice Embiid staying shaky.

Markelle Fultz is a time-traveler, brought from the distant past before basketball players shot 3-pointers.

One of the most common interpretations of Fultz’s shooting struggles is that he simply forgot how to shoot. But what if he never learned in the first place? What if, like an episode of Dark, we’re caught in a time loop, a metaphysical knot of overlapping cycles? Joel Embiid, bored as he rehabs during his rookie season, and intrigued by the idea of measuring himself against the likes of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, invents a time machine and travels back to the early 1960s.

As Embiid is busy challenging Chamberlain to a game of 1-on-1 in a weathered YMCA gymnasium, a talented young high school player named Mark Fulton who is watching the game accidentally triggers the time machine and sends himself forward to the year 2012. Looking for family members, Fulton travels to Maryland, changes his name to Markelle Fultz, enrolls at DeMatha Catholic High and begins to dominate with his old-fashioned intensity and work ethic. Of course, having learned the game at a time when players never shot from beyond 12 feet, Fultz is never quite able to extend his range, continuing to utilize a jumpshot that is obviously a relic from another time and place.

Next: The perfect team-building activity for every NBA franchise

This was all a Disney+ hustle

On Oct. 23, the Orlando Magic will open their season against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Just over a month later, Disney will launch their long-awaited streaming platform, Disney+. Don’t be surprised if when the service launches it features an as-yet-unreported documentary about Markelle Fultz and the ups and downs of his path to basketball stardom. Don’t be surprised if the release of that documentary is accompanied by news of a nine-figure development deal for Fultz, the kind of deal that offers enough prestige and compensation for what Fultz lost over the past few years by suddenly “forgetting” how to shoot — reputation, momentum, endorsement dollars — and creating a career path that would lead him right to Orlando and Disney’s doorstep. Nothing is an accident. The signs have all been there if you’ve been paying attention.

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