FIBA (DR) / Rawel Visual / FIBA (DR)
The naturalization of Joel Embiid will allow him to play in the French team, a rather crazy prospect for the 2024 Olympics. But what do the captains of the squad led by Vincent Collet think? Vincent Poirier, Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier had indeed spoken on the subject in recent weeks. The daily l’Équipe ranked their opinions.
It’s now official, enough to make the whole world jealous: Joel Embiid is capable of playing in the France team. The Sixers pivot has just received his French passport and could therefore form an XXL racket in the future, with Rudy Gobert and Victor Wembanyama. If he should not be expected to contest the Eurobasket in September, he should however be available for the 2023 World Cup and of course, the Paris Olympic Games.
On a purely sporting level, this is obviously great news for the Blues, whose workforce has just had the right to a huge boost. Competing against Team USA just got easier! However, there are still quite a few reservations about the big man. The latter has indeed no particular ties with the tricolor nation, apart from a few relatives living with us. All this is above all akin to an attempt to be able to shine on the FIBA scene, for lack of being able to do so with Cameroon.
Fournier and Poirier skeptical about the arrival of Embiid in EDF
Unsurprisingly, as the daily l’Équipe recently recalled, the arrival of the Process was not yet unanimous a few weeks ago:
Even within the France team, the case divides. The players stopped pouring out on the subject. The main leaders (Nicolas Batum, Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier) seemed to be waiting for formalization. Nobody reacted hotly yesterday. “I don’t have a definitive opinion”, dropped the future pivot of the Minnesota Timberwolves at the end of May.
Same story on the side of Gobzilla’s teammates:
“When the question really arises, that’s when we’ll go around the table and discuss it,” hammered Fournier on the BeIN Sports set. “Is there a nation that needs interpreter passports? asked Vincent Poirier, pivot of Real Madrid and among the first impacted in the event of Embiid’s arrival.
Let’s remember once again, these opinions date from a few weeks ago and perhaps the Olympic vice-champions have reviewed their position on the subject. No one has spoken on the subject since the announcement. In the state, however, it would seem that skepticism is on their side, the case of the Cameroonian being quite unique in the history of the orange ball in France. Moreover, beyond the questions of ethics, there is also still the sporting aspect to be analyzed closely.
Indeed, coach Vincent Collet already has Rudy Gobert as the starting pivot, as well as the nugget Victor Wembanyama as a back-up. It seems unthinkable for Embiid to come off the bench, after all we are talking about the second of the votes for the MVP. Should he therefore be moved to the position of strong winger? Possible, but nothing says it would work. In addition to that, the distribution of balls in attack will have to be completely redesigned. There will therefore be many adjustments.
Joel Embiid in EDF, it is now feasible on paper but what about the ethical plan? On this, there are still many questions. There is no doubt that the players and the coaching staff will have an open discussion on the subject in the coming weeks.