Philadelphia 76ers teammates Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been ruled out of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, the league has announced. The two had contact with a barber who has since tested positive for the coronavirus, sources told ESPN.
The barber, located in the Philadelphia area, tested positive after undergoing additional testing Sunday because of an inconclusive positive test, sources said.
Embiid is on Team Durant, while Simmons is on Team LeBron. Though there are no plans to replace them on the All-Star Game rosters at this point, New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will take Embiid’s place in the starting lineup for Team Durant, sources said.
Both Embiid and Simmons traveled to Atlanta on Saturday night in private planes and have remained in quarantine, which was the protocol for every All-Star participant. The NBA has feared an outbreak involving the league’s best players in Atlanta and has significant precautions in place to isolate the players on the way in and out of Atlanta for the game.
Paul George, who was to be teammates with Simmons on Team LeBron, said he’s not in favor of holding the All-Star Game.
“You have situations like we are dealing with today, it’s just an unfortunate time in the world where our health and safety should be at the front of the helm,” the LA Clippers star said during his All-Star media access Sunday. “I personally didn’t agree with the game, but it is what it is.”