The NBA ruled Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons ineligible to play in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night due to exposure to an individual who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
The two Philadelphia 76ers stars faced contact tracing after exposure to a personal barber before they arrived in Atlanta.
“Prior to traveling to Atlanta, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons had contact with an individual who is confirmed today to have tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result, Embiid (Team Durant) and Simmons (Team LeBron) will not play in tonight’s NBA All-Star Game,” the NBA said in a statement Sunday morning. “Participation for other All-Stars and members of the 76ers coaching staff in Atlanta is not affected because they were not exposed to the individual in Philadelphia.”
The NBA doesn’t plan on replacing the two players for the game, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Embiid and Simmons each traveled by themselves on private planes.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, the NBA condensed All-Star weekend to a single day. The Rising Stars game was cancelled and the Slam Dunk competition was moved to halftime of the All-Star Game, with the 3-point contest and skills competition taking place before the game.