James Johnson is known as an NBA player that you wouldn’t want to meet with cruel intentions but, as of Tuesday evening, it appears that someone forgot to tell Serge Ibaka. In the midst of a game between the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat, the two established veterans were facing off in the midst of a half-court set and, seemingly out of nowhere, punches were being thrown.
Johnson, who happens to hold a black belt and has competed in mixed martial arts in his past, actually seemed to be simply responding to Ibaka, who threw something of a forearm/elbow shiver in his direction. From there, though, neither man appeared poised to back down and, after an official review, both players were sent packing in the form of ejection.
Obviously, this could have escalated in an ugly way and it is certainly a good thing that tensions were not raised to the point of a full-fledged blowup. Still, it isn’t every day that two NBA veterans legitimately square off and attempt haymakers on the hardwood and, in this case, the punches actually came in the middle of game action.
The lesson, as always, is that no one should ever throw a punch while they’re working unless they throw punches for a living.