I’m not sure exactly how Markelle Fultz celebrated his first morning as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers after becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft at Barclays Center on Thursday night. I do feel pretty confident, however, that serious consideration of poultry-related breakfast options was involved.
I mean, if it was one on the morning that Fultz first worked out for the Sixers after the team traded up for the No. 1 pick specifically to snag him — as he lays out in delightful detail in a introductory letter published Friday by The Players’ Tribune — then why wouldn’t it be on the day he meets the Philly faithful?
From Fultz’s first-person piece:
A lot happened last week. It’s crazy that it’s only been seven days since I got invited to Philly. I found out last Friday morning. I woke up and thought I was going to Boston for another workout with the Celtics.
Then [Fultz’s longtime trainer] Keith [Williams] hit me up and said, “New plan. Philly.”
I was just waking up. So I was like, “O.K., cool. Do they have Chick-fil-A there?”
A crispy chicken sandwich for breakfast. It’s kind of like my good luck charm. Keith never got back to me about that important question. So I found out for myself. I googled it immediately.
Philly does have Chick-fil-A. It has six, actually.
Seven if you count the one at the airport. Boston has zero Chick-fil-As, for what it’s worth.
(It’s actually eight, but so long as it’s more than none, who’s counting?)
I have to admit: It had not previously occurred to me to evaluate prospective draft destinations based on their respective fast-casual chicken dining options. Kind of feels like this opens up a whole new brand of pre-draft study, to be honest with you.
If a player decides he doesn’t want to work out for a particular team, maybe it’s not because he fears being blocked by more established veterans at his position, or because he’d prefer to be in a larger media market, or because he’s concerned about how his individual game might mesh with the preferred scheme of that squad’s coach. Maybe dude just grew up on Whataburger and can’t imagine being in Papa Gino’s country instead. Who am I to judge one’s perspective (when it comes to comfort food treats that make you feel at home and at ease when you’re about to embark on the most important workout of your life)?
As it turns out, though, Fultz needn’t have worried about finding an open location before heading to the gym. Bryan Colangelo’s crew already had the prospect covered:
Anyway, guess what happened when I showed up to the Sixers training facility? They’d ordered Chick-fil-A. It was there waiting for me on a table. For real. A bunch of sandwiches.
I don’t know how they knew, but they knew.
And I know it’s not a big deal, but a little part of me was thinking, Respect. They did their research.
The draft process might not always go smoothly, but it’s good to hear that Fultz’s maiden fast-food-breakfast voyage in the City of Brotherly Love went off without a hitch. Let this be a lesson to all us prospective job-seekers out there: if the employer really wants to secure your services, they’ll be willing to go the extra mile and show up with a table full of chicken sandwiches. Relatable and applicable in any field, really.
More NBA coverage:
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More NBA draft coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• NBA draft winners and losers: Kings finally score big
• NBA prospect loses millions by staying in school
• Team-by-team grades for 2017 NBA draft
• Process pays off: Sixers take Fultz No. 1 overall