Sixers’ Joel Embiid in High Demand for National Teams
As the 2021-2022 NBA season was winding down, there were rumors about Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid potentially joining another team for International play. According to reports, Embiid was looking into obtaining French citizenship so he could play for France.
Following the Sixers’ 2022 playoff run, which ended prematurely in the second round against the Miami Heat, Embiid hinted a run with France over the summer was unlikely. According to the star center, playing for the Sixers in the NBA is his obvious priority.
While Embiid’s comments didn’t rule out playing for France in the future, the big man was leaving the 2022 playoff run with multiple injuries, which required surgery in the offseason.
As expected, France continues to recruit Embiid as the 2022-2023 NBA season approaches, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
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However, they aren’t alone. Last week, Embiid revealed that he became a United States citizen as well, making him eligible to play for team USA in the future. To no surprise at all, USA is now interested in having Embiid represent them in future events, according to Marc Stein.
Who will Embiid prioritize when the time comes? The big man won’t say. Following a training camp session last week, Embiid told a group of reporters that it’s too early to make a decision.
While France has been recruiting the two-time MVP runner-up since the last NBA season, Embiid has yet to make a full commitment. And now that USA is technically in the mix, they can make a great pitch to the star center as they’ve seen tons of success in the Olympic Games over the years.
Embiid will likely consider both teams later on down the line, but his focus remains on the 2022-2023 NBA season, which begins on October 18 in Boston.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.