Paris Olympics

Embiid will ’embrace’ boos from French crowd when he suits up for Team USA


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Embiid will ’embrace’ boos from French crowd when he suits up for Team USA

BIG ADDITION. Joel Embiid debuts for Team USA in the Paris Olympics.

Philadelphia 76ers Twitter page

Former NBA MVP Joel Embiid opts to join a USA team seeking its fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal instead of representing France or his native Cameroon

Team USA’s Joel Embiid, who holds French and American citizenship, said his bruising NBA playoff battles on the road have prepared him for any jeers the French crowd at the Paris Olympics sends his way.

Embiid received his French passport in 2022 and many there thought he would wear the jersey of Les Bleus or his native Cameroon in his first Olympics. Instead, he joined the USA team seeking its fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal.

“I don’t think it should be anything, but if it’s more than that, I embrace it,” Embiid told the Athletic at Team USA training camp in Las Vegas.

“I don’t think you can get worse than playing in New York in the playoffs.”

The Philadelphia 76ers star was labeled the “most hated man in New York” by New York tabloids and booed mercilessly at Madison Square Garden during the first round of this year’s NBA playoffs, which the Knicks won in six games.

The 30-year-old big man previously said it was not easy deciding which country to play for but ultimately chose the USA over France because of the length of time he had lived in the country and the fact that his son was born in the United States.

The USA fell to France in the group stage of the Tokyo Games in a loss that snapped a 25-game winning streak but eked out a win in the final to claim its 17th gold medal.

France, led by Rudy Gobert and Victor Wembanyama, is again expected to present a challenge for the USA on the international stage, and in response, the Americans have assembled a roster boasting a dizzying array of talent.

The 12-man team includes Embiid, who the 2023 NBA MVP, all-time NBA leading scorer LeBron James, three-time Olympic champion Kevin Durant, and shooting great Stephen Curry, who are all expected to start.

The USA takes on reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and Serbia in their first group stage match on July 28 in Lille, France. –

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