After a bitter battle last year between Team LeBron James and Team Giannis Antetokounmpo at the NBA All-Star Game, the two former MVPs are teaming up this year. Yes, the Milwaukee Bucks may only have one participant in the All-Star Game (hopefully Khris Middleton is relaxing with his feet up somewhere), but it’s far better than most years when this franchise had zero representatives.
Still, the prevailing narrative surrounding this game is the fact that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were ruled out Sunday morning after coming into contact with a barber in Philly that tested positive for COVID-19.
The NBA's worst nightmare in Atlanta has been an outbreak among the best players in the world. Embiid and Simmons didn't have contact w/ peers there. In the instance involving the two Sixers stars, players have been kept in contact tracing and quarantine for 7 days this season.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 7, 2021
That revelation puts an even hotter spotlight on Adam Silver and the league’s decision to go ahead with the proceedings in the first place. It felt misguided from the start, and that seems even more clear now.
And yet, the league is trudging on without its stars from Philly. For those looking to take in the events surrounding the game itself, here’s a rundown of the evening. All times are CST:
- Skills Challenge & 3-point Contest: 5:30 pm
- All-Star Game: 7:00 pm
- Dunk Contest: Halftime of All-Star Game
Given everything will be aired on TNT, the real question I have...what time will the game actually tip off?