Joel Embiid could be eligible to play with the French national team at the Paris 2024 Olympics Games.
According to RMC Sport, the Cameroon native has started the paperwork process in order to obtain French nationality. The Philadelphia 76ers centre could travel to France at the end of the NBA season to finalise the process.
French national team general manager Boris Diaw has confirmed to L’Équipe that the NBA’s current scoring champion would like to play with Les Bleus.
“I know he has personally started the naturalisation process and that he would like to play for France. That being said, we are not putting the cart before the horse and we are waiting for these procedures to be completed.”
Embiid opened the door to a nationality switch back in 2018.
The 28-year-old was born in the French-speaking city of Yaoundé and has family members living in France.
Despite being a five times NBA-All Star, Embiid has never played in a FIBA tournament with Cameroon.
The FIBA regulations currently allow one naturalised player on every national team’s roster meaning Embiid could fill this position on the French national team given that the silver medalists from Tokyo 2020 have yet to take advantage of this rule.
And they might well be interested given Embiid’s current form.
During the 2021-2022 NBA regular season the centre has averaged 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 block per game. It is the first time in four decades that a centre ended the regular season with more than 30 points per game.
Currently suffering from a facial fracture, Embiid couldn’t participate in Game-1 of the Playoffs semi-finals against the Miami Heat, which the Sixers lost. It’s reported that he could come back later in the series.
He is one of the three finalists for the MVP title alongside Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo.