It was one of the soap operas of recent years around the French basketball team. The possibility of seeing Joel Embiid evaluated with the selection of Vincent Collet has just gained new momentum, since the pivot of the Sixers was naturalized French this Wednesday morning. The theoretical conditions for which he can put on the blue tunic are now fulfilled.
What news is this! It could have slipped through the cracks, since it is only a small announcement in the immensity of the decrees and other appointments of the Official Journal of this July 13. However, this “small announcement” is potentially the starting point of great news for the France team. But what does she say? So no, it’s not about the creation of a statue of Evan Fournier in Charenton-le-Pont, at least not yet. No, the document mentions the French naturalization of a certain… Joel Embiid, just that. This is the epilogue of a big big file that has somehow made its way with the France team since 2016 and the first rumors concerning the Philadelphia pivot’s desire to acquire blue white red nationality to play in national selection. Epilogue yes, but legal epilogue only. If since this morning, all the conditions are now met for the pivot to actually play with the France team, the fact remains that the latter will have to be selected by Vincent Collet to really foul the floors in the company of Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert and Nicolas Batum.
Official: Joel Embiid obtained French naturalization on July 5, 2022.
(Via: Official Journal of the French Republic) pic.twitter.com/r33ydFDqNb
— 76ers France (@FR_Sixers) July 13, 2022
This news comes even though the case – if you can call it that – had picked up the slack in recent months. A few weeks ago, we told you about the pivot’s request to the French authorities to launch this naturalization process. In fact, we even made it into an aperitif, still available here. In the process, the players of the France team were very logically asked by the media to give their opinion, with more or less clear-cut positions. For Nicolas Batum, the debate then focused more on the moral aspect of such a movement. At the same time, difficult to say that it is sportingly consistent to refuse a boy like Jojo. As a reminder, the giant ranked second in the MVP votes this season in the NBA with frightening averages: 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 against in 68 games played. A broken left eye socket will have deprived him of a great potential Playoffs campaign, but the fact is that he is today one of the best basketball players in the world. This announcement going in the direction of an arrival in the France team should not be the last step for Embiid since it is logically necessary – and in line with the speech of certain EDF players – to expect a intensification of ethical debates. The list for EuroBasket 2022 already fell last week, so it will be very difficult to see M’sieur Jojo hoping to integrate it. No, the next viable deadline for a possible integration will undoubtedly be the Basketball World Cup in 2023. Much ink is likely to flow by then, but remember that the FFBB itself recently admitted having made contact with the player. Exchanges that were not in vain, as evidenced by this news today.
Joel Embiid is officially a French citizen! The doors leading to its integration into the France team have just opened legally, only remains for the French Federation of Basket to decide morally on the question. We say that as if it would quickly be settled, but the debates should still be animated for a good while.
Source: Official Journal of the French Republic