I hate writing this, but I have to.

Markelle Fultz looks broken. Over the past few weeks, he’s looked more engaged defensively and has had spurts of attacking the rim with reckless abandon, but that jumper he spent the summer working on with Drew Hanlen? Gone. Its absence has overshadowed any positives the most ardent supporter could muster arguing. Any threat of a shot from outside five feet? Non-existent. Now it appears his relationship with Hanlen is just that:

There’s no way to quantify what it meant for Fultz to work with Hanlen, other than to state the obvious: the broken shot we saw Fultz use tentatively last season was replaced with a somewhat repeatable, quasi-functional jumper. But it’s gone. It’s really gone.

About a week ago, Fultz took an awful three:


But it got awkward for fans – many of whom have supported the kid unconditionally – when he seemed to make fun of himself:

Last Monday, Kevin wrote up a blurb about a since-deleted tweet by Fultz’s now former trainer:

Fultz didn’t take to well to being asked about Hanlen’s tweet, nor Howard Eskin’s question about the last time the two had spoken:

For a bit of context:

Exactly a week later, we were treated to something I’ve never seen in a game at any level: a pump fake on a free throw:

Call it whatever you want. Yips. Lack of confidence. Getting in his own head. Youthful arrogance. Quite frankly, I don’t care. Fultz can say it’s physical, like he did all last year, but when you watch his body language and hear how he responds to questions, I see a kid in pain. He’s not stupid. He knows that somehow he’s forgotten how to be the dynamic player the Sixers traded up for. He’s probably carrying a ton of weight on his shoulders knowing that the league is laughing at him. He’s now reportedly split with yet another trainer. The shot looks like it’s back to the hitch-filled mess it was a year ago. It’s disappointing, heartbreaking really. If you care about the kid at all, maybe now’s the time to stop offering platitudes on social media and say what many are thinking: I hope the kid gets help. Otherwise, we could be mere years away from this: