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NBA reports zero positive COVID-19 tests over All-Star Game weekend

March 8 (UPI) -- The NBA announced Monday that no players, coaches or game officials tested positive for COVID-19 while in Atlanta for All-Star weekend.

That includes Philadelphia 76ers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, a pair of All-Star selections who had to miss the annual game because of contact tracing.

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Before traveling to Atlanta, Embiid and Simmons had close contact with a barber who tested positive for the coronavirus. Due to league policy, they were unable to play Sunday night in the All-Star Game.

"All players, coaches, and game officials were tested for COVID three times after arriving in Atlanta, including a final test immediately prior to [Sunday] night's All-Star Game," the NBA said in a statement Monday. "Each of those tests returned a negative result, confirming no one on the court for [Sunday] night's events was infected."

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Embiid and Simmons have continued to test negative for COVID-19, but it remains unclear whether they will be eligible to play when the 76ers begin their second-half schedule Thursday in Chicago.

"So far, so good as far as their testing," 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said. "They feel great. They both obviously wanted to play.

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"We're disappointed. Both of them, their biggest concern would be if they could play the first two games when we get back. So we don't know the answer to that yet. That's going to be really important for us. It would be tough to start the second half of the year and not have either one."

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All players and coaches involved in the All-Star events arrived in Atlanta on Saturday and departed late Sunday after the game. Team LeBron dominated Team Durant 170-150 to win this year's All-Star Game.

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