Sunday night, the NBA's elite will head onto the court for the annual NBA All-Star Game. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, and several others will highlight the matchup. Here is when the game takes place and how to watch the festivities.
The NBA All-Star Game will take place at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. Coverage will begin on TNT at 5 p.m. ET, and the game will start at 8 p.m. ET. LeBron James and Kevin Durant will serve as the two teams' captains and will lead some of the league's most prominent names out onto the court. Before the All-Star game begins, the Skills Challenge and the 3-Point Contest will occur at 6:30 p.m. At halftime of the All-Star Game, the Slam Dunk contest will provide entertainment for the fans.
Prior to All-Star Weekend, James and Durant selected the members of their squad from a fantasy roster. The Los Angeles Lakers star had the first overall pick after finishing first in the fan vote. He selected Antetokounmpo while Durant selected Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. They proceeded to fill out the rosters with starters in the first round and reserve players in the second.
While several big names will take part in Sunday's game, there are two players that became late scratches. Philadelphia 76ers teammates Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will both miss the All-Star game due to COVID-19 contact tracing. ESPN revealed that both players visited a barber who later tested positive for coronavirus. Embiid was set to suit up for Team Durant, while Simmons was set to join Team LeBron.
Both players traveled to Atlanta on Saturday night in private planes. They have remained in quarantine while following NBA protocols set for every All-Star participant. The league put precautions into place to keep players isolated as they traveled to the city in order to avoid any outbreaks among its biggest stars. The barber had an inconclusive positive test that prompted even more. He ultimately tested positive, leading to both players being pulled.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, there were no plans to replace Embiid and Simmons due to the news surfacing so late in the process. However, Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans did replace Embiid as the starter on Team Durant. The second-year star will play several minutes and attempt to lead his team to victory.