The hypothesis of NBA star Joël Embiid in the France team is getting stronger

The hypothesis of NBA star Joël Embiid in the France team is getting stronger

The hypothesis around the integration of Joël Embiid in the French basketball team was a little more reinforced this Tuesday, August 2, the management of the Blues clearly opening the way to a possible selection.

Will France soon have one of the greatest NBA players of the moment in its ranks? Inside the Philadelphia Sixers Joël Embiid, who has declared his desire to join the Blues, has never seemed so close.

“He belongs to this category”

“When he is completely selectable, I don’t see why we wouldn’t select him. We have always taken the best players and I consider that from the moment he is selectable, he belongs to this category”, affirmed the French coach Vincent Collet at a press conference in Nanterre, where the Blues started their preparation for the European Championship (September 1-18) on Sunday.

Nagging since the announcement of the French naturalization of Embiid on July 4, the question of his selection in Blue resurfaced a month before the Euro, a competition that the Philadelphia Sixers player would have “wanted to play”, according to the general manager of the Blues Boris Diaw. “He still has to obtain his French passport and the FIBA ​​license, which will allow him to be selected for the France team. He would have liked to play the Euros. If he had been selected this summer, we would have asked ourselves the question” , said the emblematic former captain of the Blues (247 caps). In addition to administrative obstacles, the 28-year-old Cameroonian was forced to give up the European Championship due to a right hand injury.

? Joël Embiid in the French basketball team for the next competitions? Vincent Collet answers without ambiguity and proclaims his desire to see the NBA star among the blues.

The Gobert-Embiid racket is in preparation… pic.twitter.com/gOAmf7I2pN

– RMC Sport (@RMCsport) August 2, 2022

“World Top 5”

With Embiid (2.13 m, 28 years old), the French team, Olympic vice-champion in Tokyo, would have one of the best pivots in the world. Far from being anecdotal in view of the Paris Olympics in 2024, where the Blues will pursue high goals after resisting the Americans in the final last summer (87-82). “He’s a top 5 in the world. His talent is undeniable. He’s as involved and interested as we are,” said winger Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, his former Sixers teammate between 2016 and 2018.

Five-time All-Star, the pivot finished top scorer in the regular season in 2021-2022 with an average of 30.6 points. But his adventure in the play-offs ended in the conference semi-final against Miami (4-2). “He’s an incredible, unique player,” raved French star Rudy Gobert, while taking care to temper his initial enthusiasm. “There are a lot of things we have to think about. Joël is a unique player and we have a team that is already well-knit. We have to see how it could work for the group”.

“A very good move”

Even the voice of his compatriot, full-back Evan Fournier, defender in 2018 of naturalized players who play in “a country with which you have no ties, it’s disturbing”, took on a more diplomatic tone. “Joël has a very good gait. It’s something that’s very complicated to judge, because there are so many factors and elements,” the New York Knicks back tacked.

“Look at Spain with Lorenzo Brown (an American player naturalized in Spain and called up to the preparation list for the Euros, editor’s note). I’m not sure he knows how to say hello in Spanish.” While waiting for a possible arrival of Embiid, the French team will try to win a second European title after that of 2013. A particularly high edition with the announced presence of several NBA stars, including the Slovenian Luka Doncic, the Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo and of the double MVP of the NBA (2021, 2022) the Serbian Nikola Jokic, the one who had preceded … Embiid in the classification of best player last season.

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