Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been ruled out of today’s All-Star Game festivities, as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Participating in an All-Star Game is a matter of pride for any player. Whether it’s the player’s first All-Star appearance or whether he’s been on the stage before, it is still a sense of excitement, being on the court facing the league’s best with the league’s top best players on the court.
Nothing has been according to plan this season. Initially, Adam Silver mentioned how this season won’t be having an All-Star weekend. Finally, after tackling a lot of logistical issues, the league confirmed on the All-Star Game. Of course, the All-Star Game will be different from what we’ve been seeing for the past so many years.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, both of Philadelphia’s stars would be ‘unlikely’ to participate in the event due to the league’s contact tracing protocols. Both of them received haircuts from a barber who had tested positive for COVID-19.
The NBA is ruling out Embiid and Simmons for All-Star Game, source tells ESPN. https://t.co/PSiQ8xiOMo
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 7, 2021
‘No one is sure of the protocol for Joel Embiid, going forward’: Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers
This past week, Embiid has decided he would be donating the $100,000 of his All-Star winnings to shelters back in Philadelphia. He promised:
“So many have fallen on such hard times during the pandemic. I felt it was important to provide more support for individuals and families struggling with homelessness and food insecurity. I’m continually grateful for all of the support that Philadelphia and the fans have given me not just around All-Star but all my years in the league. I will continue to help in any way I can.”
Coming to the main question. Will Embiid and Simmons be playing tonight? The two stars will, unfortunately, have to sit out the event according to the league’s health and safety protocols as they were exposed to the virus.
The All-Star participants were required to quarantine in their homes. Their quarantine periods were from February 27th until leaving for Atlanta on March 6th. Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers mentioned how the protocols were uncertain for Embiid and Simmons going forward.
If there was any player who deserved to participate in the All-Star game this year, it should’ve been the 7 foot Cameroonian. He has been putting up a staggering 30.2 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. The more impressive feat is, he has been leading the Sixers to have the best record in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately for Embiid, a haircut cost him an All-Star appearance.