Sixers’ Joel Embiid Reveals Update About Status Before Olympics

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, NBA Trade Rumors
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid was a guest broadcaster with ESPN during the NBA Finals on Friday night in Dallas. During his appearance, he revealed that his next goal was to compete in the Paris Olympics.

Embiid missed a significant portion of the regular season and struggled in the playoffs due to a knee injury. However, he shared that his recovery is progressing well. He expressed confidence in being ready to represent the United States, the country he chose, instead of representing either France or his native Cameroon.

“I’m doing great. Just getting ready for the Olympics,” Embiid said. “It’s going to be big for me because I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a kid.”

Embiid’s health has been a concern for the United States roster since it was unveiled earlier this year. He is one of three centers on the team, alongside Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

In recent weeks, attention has also been paid to the injury status of Tyrese Haliburton from the Indiana Pacers and Kawhi Leonard of the LA Clippers, both of whom faced issues during the playoffs. The Pacers anticipate that Haliburton, who had a hamstring issue, will be ready for the start of the USA camp in Las Vegas on July 5. Leonard, who missed 12 of the Clippers’ last 14 games due to right knee inflammation, remains in flux. Derrick White of the Boston Celtics has been floated among potential replacement options.

Embiid had several options for national teams this summer. He could have chosen to play for France or even his native Cameroon, which still has a chance to qualify for the Olympics. However, he claimed he decided to play for the United States in October, influenced by his son’s birth in America.

“For the past few years, every decision I’ve made has been based on just family,” Embiid said last year when he revealed his decision. “My family, my son, and having the chance to represent a country like the U.S., with my son being born here. … I love my home country, but I really wanted to play in the Olympics.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Embiid commanded criticism internationally for how he handled selecting his national team. Not only did he create a free agency of sorts in a rather unusual way, but some felt he never intended to consider other teams truly and just used the process to gain a French passport after he wrote a letter to the French president committing to play for France before announcing his choice to play for the United States.

When Embiid participates in Paris, the host nation will surely criticize him for his handling of the situation. Regardless, he picked a team with the best outlook to compete for a Gold medal, with France’s best players being Victor Wembanyama and Rudy Gobert overlapping in the frontcourt.

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