On media day Monday, Joel Embiid said he would make his decision on which country he’d represent at the Paris Olympics in the coming days. He’s apparently a man of his word as the reigning MVP has decided to play for Team USA next summer.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, who has become a defacto Embiid insider, was the first to report the news Thursday afternoon.
Joel Embiid, the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player, has committed to play for Team USA at the Paris 2024 Olympics, sources told ESPN on Thursday.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) October 5, 2023
Embiid informed Team USA executive director Grant Hill of his decision on Thursday morning, sources said, just days after the two… pic.twitter.com/W2dfW71aMs
As we all know by now, Embiid had three choices for which country he’d represent: his native Cameroon, France or the United States — the latter two countries being where he recently gained citizenship. Clearly, he believed Team USA gave him the best chance to win a gold medal.
Team USA had a disappointing showing at the FIBA World Cup this summer, failing to medal after losses to Lithuania, Germany and Canada. Grant Hill, who won a gold medal at the Olympic games in Atlanta in 1996, is in charge of putting a team together as the executive director of Team USA. He was open about his recruitment of Embiid as the US will look for another version of the Redeem Team next summer.
Several big name players have already hinted — or even committed — to representing Team USA in Paris. The interesting thing for Embiid will be his health. As we’re all painfully aware, Embiid has never gotten through an NBA postseason run injury-free (no, the first-round sweep in the bubble is not a playoff run). Let’s hope that changes and Embiid gets a healthy postseason run followed by a shot at a gold medal.