'So lucky': NBA shock as players millimetres from disaster

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·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
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Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid almost hit Bulls guard Lonzo Ball by accident.
Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid nearly collected Chicago's Lonzo Ball with an errant air punch thrown in frustration, for which he was handed a tachnical foul. Picture: NBA/NBA Sports

Basketball fans had their hearts in their mouths for a moment on Sunday when Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid came within millimetres of accidentally hitting an opponent with what would have been a devastating punch.

After losing the ball out of bounds on a drive against the Chicago Bulls, a frustrated Embiid let it show as he turned and pumped his first around in anger.

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Bulls guard Lonzo Ball was walking across the lane as Embiid turned around - narrowly avoid what could have been a devastating, if accidental, punch to the face.

Fortunately it was only a near miss - albeit one which cost Embiid a technical foul.

Despite his protests, the NBA will hit players with a technical foul for pumping their fists the way Embiid did - presumably to ensure a potential accident doesn't occur.

Ball was a good sport about the situation, sharing a laugh with Embiid while the technical free throw was taken.

Had Embiid or Ball been in just a slightly different position, however, the contest would have ended very, very differently.

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.

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.

Fans were gobsmacked by. just how close Embiid came to doing what could have been serious damage to Ball.

Philadelphia 76ers resume fining Ben Simmons over reporting concerns

The Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly resumed docking All-Star guard Ben Simmons his $360,000 ($A486,000) cheque for each game he misses.

Simmons has yet to play this season, saying he isn't mentally ready.

The team fined him $2 million ($A2.7 million) in penalties for holding out of training camp and not taking part in required team activities.

They stopped fining him two weeks ago when he said he would get assistance from a mental health professional.

However, while Simmons has cooperated with a team doctor for a back issue, he had not told the 76ers about his plan for mental health treatment, despite being asked to submit one more than once, ESPN said.

The All-Star has refused to provide any details or to consult with mental health providers arranged by the team.

Ben Simmons' attempts to force a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers have backfired in spectacular fashion. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons' attempts to force a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers have backfired in spectacular fashion. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Simmons has four years and $147 million ($A198 million) remaining on his five-year contract. At practice, he works individually and fines will begin again if he doesn't take part in team events, such as film study and strength training, per the report.

Simmons has been seeking a trade for months, but the 76ers have been unable to find a trade partner. He and his representatives are not happy with how the team responded to criticism of his subpar play in the Eastern Conference semi-finals last season.

In his absence, Philadelphia are off to a 7-2 start - the best record in the Eastern Conference - after a 109-98 win over the Detroit Pistons.

The renewed fines for Simmons kicked in with that game, ESPN reported.

Just before the season opener in New Orleans, coach Doc Rivers ejected Simmons from practice after he wouldn't sub in for a drill. He subsequently was suspended for the first game.

With AAP

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