Joel Embiid assesses which team to play for at the 2024 Olympics

Joel Embiid averaged a career-high 30.6 points per game last season.

HENDERSON, Nev. — Joel Embiid has two choices: the red, white and blue of the United States, or the blue, white and red of France.

An Olympic medal could depend on his decision.

France still hope Embiid – the reigning NBA champion – will choose to wear their colors for the Paris Olympics in 2024, even though he recently became an American citizen, the team coach said on Thursday. National Vincent Collet.

Philadelphia 76ers star Embiid can choose to play internationally for the United States or France, but not both. It was widely assumed he would play for France at the Paris Games and possibly even next year’s Basketball World Cup in the Philippines, until Embiid revealed last week that he now also has American citizenship.

“Now he has both nationalities and he has to choose a basketball nationality, which is not the same,” Collet told The Associated Press. “So it’s a choice. There’s nothing anyone can do to change it.

Embiid told AP last week it was too early to think about a decision. According to the rule, he will eventually have to declare a choice to FIBA, the sport’s international governing body, if he decides he wants to play in the Olympics or the World Cup.

I know he met some of our players to talk. I think he should play with us. But we will see. We will respect his decision whatever it is.

— French team Vincent Collet, on Joel Embiid

France is the reigning Olympic silver medalist and plans to have a team of Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum – and, quite possibly, top NBA draft prospect Victor Wembanyama – at the Paris Games. France’s plan is essentially to bring what will be their Olympic roster to the World Cup next year.

Without Embiid, this French core has been extremely formidable. As well as 2021 silver in Tokyo, France won bronze at the 2019 World Cup and again silver at this year’s European Championships.

With Embiid, this group would be even better. Collet said Boris Diaw, the general manager of the France team, had been in contact with Embiid to discuss options.

“I know he’s met with some of our players to chat,” Collet said. “I think he should play with us. But we’ll see. We’ll respect his decision whatever it is.

Embiid was born in Cameroon and has French nationality. He has a Brazilian girlfriend – their son is American – went to high school in Florida and played college basketball in Kansas.

The five-time NBA All-Star and four-time All-NBA selection has spent his entire professional career in Philadelphia, averaging 26.0 points in his first six seasons and a career-best 30.6 points en route towards the goalscoring crown last season.