The 2021 NBA All-Star Game got off to a rocky start before the players even touched the ground.
Ahead of Sunday night’s exhibition competition in Atlanta, the league announced that Team Durant’s Joel Embiid and Team LeBron’s Ben Simmons have been disqualified in accordance with health and safety protocols. The 76ers stars also had their virtual press conferences canceled, so they were not available to answer questions and provide clarification on the situation.
However, several reports surfaced on Sunday that offered more details on what led to the NBA’s decision.
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Why aren’t Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons playing the All-Star Game?
Around 11 a.m. ET Sunday, Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Embiid and Simmons might not be eligible to play in the All-Star Game because they were exposed to “an individual likely positive for COVID-19 prior to their arrival in Atlanta.” Charania added that the show happened when Embiid and Simmons saw their personal barber. Both players flew to Atlanta via private planes, isolated in their hotel rooms and had no exposure to other All-Stars, according to multiple reports.
During his media availability, Sixers coach Doc Rivers, who is coach of Durant, told reporters that Embiid and Simmons’ chances of playing were not “superb,” but he was still waiting for the NBA to determine what would happen. following.
A little before noon on Sunday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that Embiid and Simmons would not participate in the All-Star Game, noting that additional COVID-19 testing on the barber confirmed a positive result. The NBA made it official with the following announcement:
Prior to traveling to Atlanta, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons from Philadelphia had contact with someone who is confirmed today to have tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result, Embiid (Team Durant) and Simmons (Team LeBron) will not be playing in tonight’s NBA All-Star Game.
The participation of other All-Stars and 76ers coaching staff in Atlanta is not affected as they were not exposed to the individual in Philadelphia.
Will the NBA replace Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in the All-Star Game?
There are no plans to name replacements for Embiid and Simmons, according to Wojnarowski. That’s not much of a surprise considering that the NBA announcement came just hours before the All-Star game began.
Rivers has selected Pelicans star Zion Williamson to take Embiid’s place in the Durant squad’s starting lineup.
How long are Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons away?
It’s unclear whether Embiid and Simmons will be forced to miss multiple games after the All-Star break. As of Sunday evening, there had been no update on their conditions.
The Sixers will face a five-game seven-day streak when the regular season resumes.
|March 11||at Bulls|
|12th of March||at Wizards|
|March 14||against Spurs|
|March 16||against Knicks|
|the 17th of March||vs dollars|