Philadelphia 76ers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been ruled out for Monday's (NZ time) NBA All-Star Game because of COVID-19 contact tracing protocols.
Embiid and Simmons reportedly both were exposed to a barber in Philadelphia who tested positive for the coronavirus early Monday.
Both players traveled to Atlanta, the site of the All-Star Game, after their appointments with the barber. They are set to undergo testing Monday, and 76ers coach Doc Rivers said he was not sure how long both players might have to stay in Atlanta.
Neither player had contact with other All-Stars upon arriving in Atlanta. The NBA does not plan to replace either player on the All-Star roster.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson will replace Embiid in the starting lineup for Team Durant. Simmons was pegged as a reserve for Team LeBron.
Embiid, 26, is averaging 30.2 points and 11.6 rebounds in 30 games this season. He earned an All-Star selection for the fourth season in a row.
Simmons, 24, is averaging 16.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 31 games. This is his third All-Star selection.