NBA All-Star Game: Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons Ruled Out After Contact With Person Who Tested Positive For COVID-19


Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were excluded from the 2021 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night after the two players were in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in Philadelphia. the league announced on sunday. With the game just hours away, none of the players will be replaced at the event, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The individual who tested positive was reportedly a hairdresser used by Embiid and Simmons. After an initial inconclusive test, the barber’s test was retested and that result was positive as well.

Embiid and Simmons traveled to Atlanta on Saturday night and have since been quarantined in their respective rooms. At this point, it is not entirely clear how long they will have to remain in quarantine. Given the fact that players from a multitude of markets will be playing, the league doesn’t want to take any chances.

Embiid was selected as a starter for the annual exhibition for the fourth consecutive season, while Simmons was selected as a reserve for the third consecutive year. In the game’s All-Star draft, Embiid was selected to play on Team Durant, while Simmons was selected to play on Team LeBron. Taking Embiid’s place in the starting lineup for Team Durant is Zion Williamson, by Wojnarowski.

On Saturday, Embiid announced that he would donate his All-Star winnings to homeless shelters in Philadelphia.

“Many have been through such difficult times during the pandemic,” Embiid said in a statement. “I felt it was important to provide more support to individuals and families struggling with homelessness and food insecurity. I am continually grateful for all the support that Philadelphia and the fans have given me not only at the All-Star, but during all my years in the league. I will continue to help out as much as I can. ”

The fact that Embiid and Simmons are out of the event is unfortunate for fans who were excited to see Philadelphia’s top two players compete against the rest of the best in the league. The Sixers now have to hope their two stars stay healthy and won’t miss out on the regular season action when the second half resumes. Philadelphia’s first game after the break is against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, March 11.



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