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 considering applying for French citizenship in order to 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 in the NBA for the Sixers is his top 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.
Scroll to Continue
However, they aren’t alone. Embiid announced last week that he has become a citizen of the United States, making him eligible for playing 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? The big man won’t say. Embiid said to reporters last week that it was too early to make a decision after a training camp session.
While France has been recruiting the two time MVP runner-up ever since the last NBA season ended, Embiid has yet make a full commitment. The USA can now technically be in the mix and make a strong pitch to the star center, having seen a lot of success at 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_.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.