Joel Embiid Bails on French Heritage in Stoic Exchange With Reporter After Knicks Game

The crude memories from the bitter relationship recently haunted the Philadelphia 7-footer Joel Embiid once again. After his recent loss against the New York Knicks in Game 2 because of end-game mistakes, Embiid was clearly disappointed. With his head down, Embiid was answering questions from the press and was still optimistic about the future. However, when one reporter started asking him something in French, the Sixers player retorted, “I’m not talking in French.” Just like that, Embiid walked all over his French legacy.

Embiid is originally from Cameroon. But he is also an American citizen and holds a French passport. Until 2018, his intentions were pretty clear – he wanted to one day represent France in the Olympics. But then, after the birth of his son, and because of different family reasons, Embiid is now stepping up for Team USA, and making it to the Olympics. This isn’t working out well for him, because one particular French man isn’t too. happy about it, which probably explains Embiid’s reaction to that reporter!


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Frédéric Weis blasted Embiid for his choice of going with the USA team as he wished that the Sixers star player should be banned from the country [France], because he chose to play with Team USA and not France. The French basketball player even called Embiid a “scandalous” and “dirty” person. “I consider this boy a great player as much as he is a dirty guy. I hate him for the things that he did,” Weis said on a radio show. He also feels that Embiid does not have respect for France and for the French people. 

But it indeed was a difficult choice for Embiid, he revealed on the Media day. He was contemplating this decision for many months. Of course, it did not sit well with France. In fact, the 13th President of the French Basketball Federation, Jean-Pierre Siutat did not seem too happy with his decision.

A Promise Joel Embiid Never Fulfilled

The emergence of Embiid’s controversy with the French Basketball Association dates back to 2022. Jean-Pierre Siutat wanted to form a deadly trio of Joel Embiid, Victor Wembenyama, and Rudy Gobert for the France Men’s National basketball team. Siutat revealed in his interaction with The Athletic that the Philadelphia center even approached him for playing for France in the Olympics. Therefore, the French Basketball president tried his best and even bent some rules to convince the French government to let Embiid play.


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Finally, when the French authorities were ready with Embiid and his son’s passport, the Sixers star ditched the notification at the 2022 EuroBasket. However, as the Olympics deadline was approaching, Embiid expressed his wish to play for Team USA at the Paris Olympics to Grant Hill, GM of the USA Men’s National Team. The hosts were left in distress hearing this announcement.

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USA Today via Reuters

Siutat expressed his hopelessness to The Athletic, “It’s not so easy to get a passport. We do this because he asked us, and we were very happy to welcome him. At the end of the story, he decided to go to the U.S. team.


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With shots getting fired from all sides, Embiid’s spokesperson came to the rescue of the NBA star. The former confirmed that the Sixers center only made an announcement, not any promise. However, the French were so excited that they “secured his citizenship in anticipation.” To this day, Joel’s spokesperson is clarifying the clouds of doubt about the controversy in the NBA community.

Embiid, born and raised in Cameroon, also holds French and American citizenship. Despite the rejection of the claims for France, the latter is still the homeland of the Philadelphia star. Let’s hope that things turn out to be right between Joel and the French Basketball Association in the future.

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