Nerlens Noel left the opening tip for a bathroom break

Eric Freeman

Imagine, if you will, that an NBA game is like a very long meeting at your own office. Despite its long length, there are still opportunities for employees to take care of their personal business, whether in the restroom or responding to a family issue. Most employers won't freak out about such matters, because they come up during the course of everyday life.

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Yet most employees shouldn't have to run the bathroom in the first few minutes of that meeting. And that's why it's fairly notable that Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel had to leave for the locker room right before the opening tip of Thursday night's game against the Chicago Bulls at Wells Fargo Center.

Players leave when nature calls fairly often during games, but we usually don't see it before the opening tip. Noel either appears to have planned poorly or eaten something that didn't agree with him. The Sixers described his ailment as "light nausea" — here's hoping he felt OK later on in the night.

At any rate, his absence didn't hurt the Sixers early vs. the Bulls. Emergency starter Carl Landry went 2-of-3 from the field before Noel returned at the 8:11 mark.

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Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!