Photo: Mitchell Leff (Getty)

Philadelphia 76ers basketball forgetter Markelle Fultz fouled out in 19 minutes of dreadful action this morning in an exhibition game in Shenzhen, China, against a skeleton-crew Dallas Mavericks team without DeAndre Jordan, Harrison Barnes, and Dirk Nowitzki. He looked real bad! But somehow not nearly as bad as he comes off in this brief table tennis video:

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Look at how he is holding that ping-pong paddle. What the hell, man. What the hell! Markelle, why. It has a handle right on there.

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Perhaps this is not quite as obviously pertinent to Fultz’s fate as a professional basketball player as the rookie season he almost completely lost when he literally forgot how to shoot a basketball, but it’s no less discouraging. A picture is emerging of a young man profoundly mystified both by fairly basic sports techniques and by the operation of a pair of human arms. Nobody holds a ping-pong paddle like that, for the simple reason that it’s obviously wrong, both in mechanical terms and, somehow, in moral ones.

I watch this video and I can’t help but picture Fultz bringing this freaky sicko shit to other basic hand-and-arm tasks. Gripping a fork by the tines and using it as a dainty little shovel to lift a bite of steak to his mouth. Stepping into a boxing ring with the gloves held in his hands like a pair of hammers. Sending a text message by palming his phone and jabbing the screen onto the tip of his stationary thumb. Threading his fingers through the strings of a tennis racket before serving. Placing a contact lens in the center of his palm and whacking himself in the eye with it. Cupping a slice of pizza in his open hand and diving face-first into the center of it. Stepping up to the plate in a baseball game with the bat aimed at the pitcher like a pool cue. Crawling along the edge of his lawn on his hands and knees, gripping the weed-whacker by the business end and mangling his fingertips. Going absolutely fucking crazy on a bowl of rice with one chopstick in each hand like a pair of daggers. Palming a frisbee and just fuckin’ winging it like a goddamn baseball. Asking him to hold the baby for a second and then turning around to see him gripping your newborn by the face.

A man who grips a ping-pong paddle like that is a man who belongs in a straitjacket. He is a danger to himself and to others.