The 2021 NBA All-Star weekend isn’t off to a good start the Philadelphia 76ers’ representatives. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid could both miss playing in the All-Star game due to contact tracing after being exposed to someone who’s likely positive for COVID-19, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The exposure occurred with Embiid and Simmons‘ personal barber who had a positive test result and is awaiting another test. Both traveled by themselves on private planes, and had no exposure to other players or people down in Atlanta bubble. https://t.co/PeiSFzzPZS— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 7, 2021
Charania added that Simmons and Embiid have been going through the NBA’s typical contact tracing protocols, and haven’t been in contact with other people in Atlanta.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the barber Simmons and Embiid came into contact with is being retested due to an inconclusive initial test.
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said in his media availability ahead of the All-Star game that, “it’s probably not looking great” when asked about Simmons and Embiid’s chances of playing. Rivers added that he can’t confirm anything yet and they are still waiting on the NBA to find out what the next steps are going to be.
The All-Star game simply did not need to happen during a pandemic, but here we are. Hopefully for everyone involved this second test does come back negative.
Moving forward, if Simmons and Embiid do have to complete a full quarantine period, there’s a chance that they miss some time when the season resumes this week as well. The Sixers’ first game back is on Thursday against the Chicago Bulls.
Update: Adrian Wojnarowski has now reported that Simmons and Embiid have officially been ruled out of the All-Star game. Hopefully they’re both ok and test negative.