NBA All-Star Game, Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons ruled out for All-Star Game due to COVID-19 contact tracing

Due to COVID-19 contact tracing, Philadelphia 76ers stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid won’t be able to play in the All-Star Game.

Per Shams Charania and Adrian Wojnarowski, Embiid and Simmons came in contact with an individual who likely has COVID-19 — a personal barber. Due to contact tracing rules, the pair of Philadelphia 76ers stars were ruled out for the All-Star Game, a fairly major blow for the midseason showcase.

Embiid, for one, is leading the MVP race depending on who you ask. Simmons is also a vital player on the best team in the Eastern Conference. The incident draws comparisons to Super Bowl 55, in which a COVID-19 scare nearly impacted several Chiefs players. The culprit that time? A personal barber.

The dynamic duo is out for the game, per Woj.

Perhaps this is why NBA players were against the All-Star Game from the jump

The amount of travel and risk involved in even having the All-Star Game in the first place was great. Now, players have something to point to as a reason for their frustration and risk-aversion.

Thankfully, neither Embiid nor Simmons came into contact with players or personnel on their way to Atlanta. The pair will still take part in media briefings, assuming they’re cleared to do so. But they won’t be allowed to play in the game.

The league remained steadfast in hosting an All-Star Game this season despite pushback from players, including LeBron James. Eventually, the players relented, albeit with a grain of salt. It remains to be seen if the contact tracing will impact any regular season action for the 76ers stars.

Now we have a good idea why they were so cautious to begin with.

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