The 2021 NBA All-Star Game got off to a rough start before pushing players to the floor.
Prior to Sunday night's exhibition competition in Atlanta, the league announced Team Durant's Joel Mbid and Team LeBron's Ben Simmons were dismissed according to health and safety protocols. The 76ers stars also canceled their virtual press conferences, so they were not available to answer questions and provide any clarity on the situation.
However, several reports surfaced on Sunday and presented more details as to the NBA's decision.
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Why are Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons not playing in the All-Star Game?
Around 11 pm ET Sunday Shams Charania of Athletic told Embiid and Simmons may not be eligible to play in the All-Star Game because they were exposed to “potentially COVID-19 positives” before arriving in Atlanta. Charnia added This risk was taken when Embiid and Simmons saw their personal hairdresser. Both players traveled to Atlanta via private planes, being isolated in their hotel rooms and according to several reports there was no risk to other All-Stars.
During his media availability, Sixers coach Doctor River, who is working as coach of Team Durant, told reporters that the chances of Ambid and Simmons playing “did not look very good”, but he still Been waiting for the NBA to determine what will happen. next.
Shortly before noon on Sunday, ESPN's Adrian Wojrovski broke the news Amby and Simmons would not participate in the All-Star Game, noting that additional COVID-19 testing on the barber confirmed the positive result. The NBA made it official with the following announcement:
Before traveling to Atlanta, Philadelphia's Joel Mbid and Ben Simmons had contact with a man who has been confirmed to test positive for coronovirus today. As a result, Mbid (Team Durant) and Simmons (Team Lebron) will not play in tonight's NBA All-Star Game.
Participation is not affected for other All-Stars and 76ers coaching staff members in Atlanta because they were not in contact with the person in Philadelphia.
Will NBA replace Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in the All-Star Game?
There are no plans to name a replacement for Embiid and Simmons, According to Wojnarowski. Given the NBA announcement, it is not surprising to find hours before the All-Star Game began.
Rivers selected Pallions star Sion Williamson to replace Embiid in the starting lineup for Team Durant.
How long are Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons out?
It is unclear if Embiid and Simmons will be forced to miss several games after the All-Star break. As of Sunday night, there was no update on their conditions.
The Sixers face a stretch of five games over seven days when the regular season begins.
|March 11||In the bulls|
|March 12||On wizards|
|14 March||Vs Spurs|
|16 March||Vs Nux|
|17 March||Vs box|