Philadelphia 76ers All-Star point guard Ben Simmons reportedly broke COVID-19 protocols for leaving New York City the same night Seth Curry tested positive during last Thursday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
According to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft did not stick around the team hotel and headed back to Philadelphia.
Simmons has missed the past two games since, appearing on Philadelphia’s injury report as out with “knee stiffness” against the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 9 and then “knee swelling” against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.
The NBA fined the 76ers $25,000 for failing to list Simmons on the initial injury report for their matchup against Denver. Philadelphia ended up having nine total players out due to a combination of COVID-19 health and safety protocols and injuries.
The 76ers began the season as the hottest team in the league, compiling a 7-1 record before their current three-game losing streak. Simmons has remained consistent across the board, averaging 13.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game this season.
“There are no restaurants in New York City that are approved [by the NBA], so if a team is staying in New York City they need to stay there,” Goodwill said. “Apparently Ben Simmons said, ‘Nah, I’m out’…I’m headed out, got a driver, went back to Philly. I believe the team found out.”