The Cameroonian star of the Philadelphia 76ers has started administrative procedures to obtain French nationality according to information from RMC.
We’re talking about Joel Embiid in Blue. The idea of integrating the Cameroonian star with the Blues resurfaced on Monday, RMC teaching us that said Embiid “initiated administrative procedures to obtain French nationality and to be able to play with the French basketball team“. Our colleagues suggest that the 28-year-old pivot has even planned to come to France this summer to settle all the administrative issues related to this subject.
If necessary, it would then be up to Vincent Collet, the tricolor coach, to decide, knowing that each national team can integrate a naturalized player, no more. Les Bleues have made use of this exception with Franco-Americans Gabby Williams and Bria Hartley in recent years, while Les Bleus have been reluctant to do so for a long time. “The problem is the unrelated naturalizations, when players take a passport in 48 hours in a country where they have never set foot. Embiid has a connection with France“, said the current General Manager of Team France Basket Patrick Beesley, in 2018, in The Teamwhen the subjectEmbiid in the French team» had been addressed publicly for the first time, two years after discussions which had not filtered.
And for good reason, Embiid had declared this a few days before the release of Beesley: “I’m not from France, but it would be a great opportunity. I have family there. So far, I haven’t had an offer, from Cameroon, France or elsewhere, but you never know.»
We do not put the cart before the horse and we wait for these steps to succeed
Pour The Team Boris Diaw, general manager of the Blues, confirms knowing that the pivot of Philadelphia “has personally started the process of naturalization and that he would then like to be able to play for France. That being said, we are not putting the cart before the horse and we are waiting for these steps to succeed. »
Remember that the French pool is already rich in terms of pivots, led by the three-time best defender in the NBA, Rudy Gobert, whose former Chicago star Scottie Pippen sings the praises in an interview with the Figaro . Position 5 of Real Madrid, Vincent Poirier was also amused by the rumor by suggesting that he should perhaps move to the wing or the back to continue to find playing time. Tomorrow, the position is also promised to the Villeurbannaise unicorn Victor Wembanyama (18 years old, 2.19m). But Joel Embiid, five times All Star, is heavy. An extraordinary offensive talent, a sunny personality, a warrior… Quite simply, one of the best pivots and the best players on the basketball planet. If he could tap on an Embiid / Gobert duo, Vincent Collet would not be unhappy.
There is my country (Cameroon), France, the United States too: I just want to be in a good system
Joel Embiid in 2018
It remains to be seen whether, this time, the project will come to an end. If he “love (his) country» and that he says to himself «patriot“, Joel Embiid does not intend to respond to the Cameroonian sirens without having the assurance that he will find coherent infrastructures and “a good medical environment. So, there is my country, there is France, there is the United States too. I just wanna be in a good system“, he summed up in 2018, specifying that the Philadelphia Sixers will obviously have their say.
The other players of the France team too. Moreover, some were not deprived to take a position against the possible arrival of Embiid, including Edwin Jackson and Evan Fournier. The latter prefers to enjoy his vacation before returning to the arena (see tweet).
«By principleTony Parker admitted to sharing this opposition. “I did not expect thatEmbiid had replied at the time, surprised by this outcry. I understand their point of view, because if a player lands in your country, it’s one less place. Maybe that’s the problem… I don’t know who is the best in the France team. Maybe there’s the possibility it’s me (smiles). (…) If I come, it gives you a better chance of winning, right? It’s the goal to win!“, he added, referring to his dream of playing the Olympics. The next ones will be played in Paris, in 2024…