Joel Embiid looks to have his sights set on the Paris Olympics in 2024. French news outlet RMC Sports has reported that the Cameroon native has initiated administrative procedures to obtain French nationality so that he can play for the French national team.
If Embiid is successful in his naturalization efforts, he would join a stellar roster that narrowly lost 87-82 to Team USA in the gold medal game last year. France currently has NBA players Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier and Nicolas Batum on it’s roster.
FIBA allows one naturalized player per squad, and France doesn’t have one at the moment. Embiid has never played for Cameroon and has family in France. Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam also hails from Cameroon but is also yet to represent his country.
Knicks guard Evan Fournier and France legend Tony Parker both said in 2018 that they’re against the idea of naturalized players playing for France after Embiid hinted at the idea.
Embiid responded claiming France’s captain at the time Boris Diaw and Nicolas Batum both asked him to join them, “If veterans of the French team like Boris and Nicolas want me to come, why not!”
If Embiid does in fact end up playing for France, they would boast three world-class centers in Embiid, Gobert and 7-foot-3 18-year-old phenom Victor Wembanyama. With no defensive 3 second rule in international play, opponents would have an extremely tough time scoring in the paint.