On Thursday, reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers let it be known that he wants to play for Team USA when they head into the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France, with vengeance on their minds after finishing fourth in the FIBA World Cup recently.
Although Embiid could play for Cameroon, who might not make the cut to compete in the Olympics, or the home country of France, the veteran center wants to sport the red, white, and blue while playing alongside others who have committed to the team.
If Embiid does indeed go through with playing for Team USA, he’ll likely be suiting up alongside Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, who have already announced their intentions to play for Steve Kerr’s squad.
With Embiid dropping this bombshell ahead of the 2023-24 NBA season, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said the following about the move by the NBA MVP via “First Take.”
.@stephenasmith on Joel Embiid committing to play for Team USA:
"Other nations are trying to act as if they're better than the USA when it comes to the sport of basketball. … We need to show the level of commitment that those other nations … have shown." pic.twitter.com/dVxVOoidZu
— First Take (@FirstTake) October 5, 2023
Smith believes this is a step in the right direction for Team USA, as it shows the level of commitment that other countries have been showing, which is why the Americans have struggled rather than flourished in international competitions as of late.
From here on out, the real question is which players will follow the lead of Embiid, Curry, and Durant and represent the United States in France next summer.
Even though LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers has expressed interest, he hasn’t committed like these three superstars have, which means he can’t be counted on at this point in time.NEXT: Insider Reveals 76ers' Demands In A James Harden Trade