Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid officially became a citizen of France in the summer of 2022, making him eligible to represent the European nation in the 2023 FIBA World Cup taking place this August through September in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.
Not to worry, Sixers fans. He won’t be risking injury at the competition this time around.
Les Bleus senior national team head coach Vincent Collet ruled out Embiid in an interview with Serbian outlet Telegraf.
“Not this year,” Collet said regarding Embiid suiting up for France. “We don’t know. It’s up to him to decide. We await his decision and are hopeful.”
Embiid has had his fair share of injuries throughout his career. When asked to respond to speculation of his joining Les Bleus after obtaining citizenship last year, Embiid confirmed his priorities to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“Obviously the NBA season is what’s more important,” Embiid said last summer. “I will put that focus into playing 82 games and the playoffs before I have to do anything in the summer that could jeopardize what I’m able to do during the regular season.”
Embiid will face another decision as the 2024 Summer Olympics approach on whether to represent the United States, where he also holds citizenship, or France — or to opt out of the competition entirely.