Philadelphia’s dynamic duo has been ruled out of this year’s All-Star Game.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday that Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will not be allowed to participate in the night’s contest. Per Woj’s sources, both Embiid and Simmons came in contact with a barber who tested positive for COVID-19. After additional tests, the barber’s diagnosis was confirmed, forcing Embiid and Simmons into an incubation period to see if they contracted the virus.
“Additional test has returned positive for the coronavirus on barber in contact with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, sources tell ESPN. League must make decision still, but it is highly unlikely Embiid and Simmons will be cleared to play today,” Woj tweeted before confirming that Embiid and Simmons will be sidelined.
Embiid and Simmons's absence sparked mixed reactions among fans. Some were upset that they wouldn’t get to see one of the NBA’s MVP front runners in Embiid play alongside the league’s biggest stars.
Others viewed it as an opportunity for young stars like Zion Williamson—who will replace Embiid in the starting lineup—or Trae Young—who many fans feel was snubbed—to get a shot at being part of the game.
Despite the fan reaction, there are currently no plans to replace Embiid or Simmons in the All-Star Game since they were on opposing teams. Also, it’s unclear if Simmons and Embiid will have to stay in Atlanta once the break is over to properly quarantine.