At least some members of Les Blues are already making a push for Joel Embiid to join them for both the World Cup next year and the 2024 Olympics now that he’s a dual citizen.
Embiid revealed last month that he had officially become an American citizen. As he also holds French citizenship, Embiid could choose to play for either nation in international competitions — something he’s not yet done in his career.
With the World Cup set for next year in the Philippines and then Paris set to host the Olympics in 2024, Embiid would be a tremendous addition for France at both tournaments. That’s why multiple players and general manager Boris Diaw have already reached out.
"I know he met some of our players to discuss," France coach Vincent Collet said Thursday, via The Associated Press. "I think he should play with us. But we will see. We will respect his decision whatever it is."
If Embiid were to join France, its team would undoubtedly have a great chance at taking home the gold medal in Paris. The team, which won the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, will likely have Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier and Nicholas Batum on the roster. It will likely add French teenager Victor Wembanyama by then, too.
Embiid, the reigning league scoring champ, averaged a career-high 30.6 points and 11.7 rebounds last season in Philadelphia. He’s set to enter his ninth season in the NBA this fall.
Embiid doesn’t have to make a decision on either the United States team or the French team just yet. He’s said that he isn’t ready to choose one way or another yet, either.
Though his newfound American citizenship changes things a bit for the French team, Collet knows there isn't anything he can do about it. What happens next is in Embiid's hands.
"Now he has both nationalities, and he has to choose one basketball nationality, which is not the same," Collet said. "So, that is a choice. Nobody can do anything to change it."