Joel Embiid was inches away from sending Bulls guard Lonzo Ball to the court out cold on Saturday night in Chicago.
Thankfully for everyone involved, his punch stopped just short.
The Philadelphia 76ers star, after losing the ball out of bounds while trying to drive to the hoop right before halftime of their 114-105 win at the United Center, swung his right fist wildly the other way out of frustration.
Ball, who was chasing Embiid through the lane, just barely got out of the way in time.
Embiid received a technical foul for the move, which easily could have caused some serious damage.
As no harm was actually done, though, Ball seemed to take it well.
Here for the sportsmanship though pic.twitter.com/bnVmWd9Y9B
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) November 7, 2021
Had Embiid or Ball been in just a slightly different position, however, Saturday night’s contest would have ended very, very differently.
Zach LaVine led Chicago with 32 points and nine rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan added 25 points. Ball finished the night with eight points, five rebounds and five assists.
Embiid finished the night with a team-high 30 points and 15 rebounds while shooting 11-of-19 from the field. Furkan Korkmaz added 25 points off the bench for Philadelphia and Shake Milton added 13. The win gave Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers his 1,000th career win, making him just the 10th coach in NBA history to hit that mark.