From a COVID-19 perspective, the league says, the All-Star Game went off without a hitch.
The NBA announced Monday that no player, coach or game official tested positive for coronavirus in Atlanta for the day-long event at State Farm Arena. All of the event’s players and coaches left Atlanta on Sunday night after the game.
“All of the players, coaches and match officials were tested for COVID three times after arriving in Atlanta, including a final test just before last night’s All-Star Game,” the league said in a statement. “Each of these tests returned a negative result, confirming that no one on the ground for last night’s events was infected.”
Embiid, Simmons was afraid of COVID
Although no one returned a positive test, two Philadelphia 76ers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were forced to withdraw from the game at the last minute due to potential exposure to the coronavirus.
The NBA announced on Sunday morning that the two were from a barber who had tested positive. The pair traveled to Atlanta on private planes and did not make contact with anyone there before the news broke. The two were not replaced in the game, as the incident happened just hours before the game rocked.
It’s unclear when Embiid and Simmons can return, or if they can play when Philadelphia re-plays their first game after Thursday’s break.
“So far, everything is going well with their tests,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “They feel good. They obviously both wanted to play. We are disappointed.
“Both of them, their biggest concern would be to be able to play the first two games when we come back. So we don’t yet know the answer to that. This is going to be really important to us. It would be difficult to start the second half of the year without having one. “
LeBron James interviewed ASG again
While the potential exposure of Embiid and Simmons was detected early – which could have caused a widespread outbreak throughout the league – this scenario is exactly what many in the NBA feared when the game was announced in the first place.
who criticized Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to hold the game during the pandemic in the first place, and once again.
“Obviously, I love our league. I love basketball at the highest level and doing what I love to do, ”he said. “ I just think under those circumstances, with what we’re still going through with the pandemic and everything with the season, I just thought we could have looked at it a little bit differently.
“But it’s out of my hands. I can only control what I can control. “
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