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#pounditWednesday, July 17, 2024

Joel Embiid reportedly deciding between 3 teams for 2024 Olympics

Joel Embiid holds a ball

Nov 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before action against the Sacramento Kings at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

While he won’t be holding an hour-long ESPN special to announce it, Joel Embiid has an interesting decision to make.

EuroHoops reports this weekend that Embiid is deciding between France, the United States, and Cameroon for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The candidacy of the former two nations for Embiid has been well-documented. But Cameroon, Embiid’s native country, is now in the mix too after getting a bid for the pre-Olympic qualifiers.

Additionally, EuroHoops quoted French Federation of Basketball president Jean-Pierre Suitat as saying that France has set an Oct. 10 deadline for Embiid to make his decision.

The reigning NBA MVP Embiid has yet to compete at the international level (but was named to Cameroon’s initial roster for the 2017 FIBA AfroBasket). Embiid received French citizenship in July 2022 and then U.S. citizenship in Sept. 2022, making him eligible to suit up for either country at the Olympics under FIBA’s one naturalized (non-native) player rule.

By playing for France, Embiid would have a real shot at bringing Olympic glory to the host nation (but might not be able to play his preferred position because of who else is already on the team). With the United States, Embiid would likely get his best chance to win the gold medal (though the American team may be similarly crowded). Meanwhile, Cameroon would only have an outside shot in being at all competitive in the Olympics but can offer Embiid a greater sense of pride in suiting up for his birth nation. These will all be factors for the seven-footer Embiid to consider ahead of his projected October decision deadline.

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