Paul George Reiterated The All-Star Game Shouldn’t Be Happening After Embiid And Simmons Were Ruled Out

On Sunday, the NBA announced that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons would not play in the All-Star Game due to contact tracing after the two Sixers stars visited a barber in Philadelphia prior to this weekend who tested positive for COVID-19.

It was the exact situation the NBA had hoped to avoid as it attempted to thread the needle of hosting a one-day All-Star in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, as, if nothing else, the optics of the two having to be removed for contact tracing caused the conversation around the game to once again shift to whether it should be happening. The Embiid and Simmons situation likely didn’t change the minds of many, but for those who already had warranted concerns about bringing players from different markets into one place for a made-for-TV exhibition, it certainly highlighted why the concern existed in the first place.

Among those who have expressed their belief that the game shouldn’t happen is Paul George, who was honest when asked about the situation involving the Sixers’ two stars and noted that in a time when health and safety should be at the forefront of every decision, hosting an All-Star Game should not be happening.

George was far from alone in being against having an All-Star Game, as other top stars like LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo likewise questioned why it was happening weeks ago. They will speak later and it won’t be a surprise to see them likewise reiterate their stances on the game being unnecessary. Others, like Damian Lillard, were asked about the situation and noted it’s unfortunate, while also pointing out the vigilance required to stay out of protocols this year.

The game will go on, with Zion Williamson shuffling into the starting lineup for Team Durant in place of Embiid, and the league will keep its fingers crossed that the only protocol issues that arise from the All-Star festivities are the absence of Philly’s two stars for contact tracing.

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