The countdown is underway for Joel Embiid as he faces a pivotal choice regarding his participation in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The French basketball federation has issued a deadline of October 10 for the reigning NBA MVP to convey his decision on whether he will represent the French national team, a decision that carries significant implications for Team USA’s roster composition in the upcoming summer competition.
During an appearance on the French radio show “Stephen Time Show,” French basketball president Jean-Pierre Siutat emphasized the expeditious nature of the decision, stating, “In any case, this will happen very swiftly. We are hopeful, and I believe he is aware of that. We might have a response by October 10. We have firmly established this deadline.”
Embiid faces a complex decision, as he must choose among the options of playing for France, where he acquired citizenship in 2022, Team USA, where he has resided since the age of 16, or representing Cameroon, his country of birth. Both France and the United States have secured their places at the Paris Games, while Cameroon earned its spot through a pre-Olympics qualifying tournament.
The addition of Joel Embiid to any of these teams would carry immense significance, particularly for France, which could potentially field a formidable trio of prominent big men, including Embiid, Rudy Gobert, and Victor Wembanyama if all decide to participate next summer. France would present a formidable challenge to opponents, particularly from a size standpoint, a fact well understood by Team USA.
Nonetheless, the French national team is not making any presumptions about Embiid’s commitment at this stage. Jean-Pierre Siutat clarified, “We have not officially announced Joel Embiid’s participation. There has been speculation from various sources, and I would like to reiterate my desire to see him join us. However, no official communication has been made regarding his inclusion on our team. As of today, he is not yet a part of our roster. We are actively working on it, and we are strongly committed to this prospect. He is aware of our intentions, and we have engaged in discussions with him, eagerly awaiting his decision. The American team has expressed considerable interest in having him on their roster. Meanwhile, Cameroon has secured a place in the pre-Olympics. It’s a complex situation for him.”
With the French team establishing a clear deadline for Joel Embiid to make his decision, it appears that clarity regarding his Olympic participation will emerge within the next two weeks.