Embiid and Banchero: American fishing in foreign basketball waters | Basketball | Sports

The best player in the NBA has never been international. Center Joel Embiid, who was voted the best player last year in the American League, was born 29 years ago in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and obtained French citizenship in July 2022, and two months later he obtained an American passport. With three offers on the table, and the upcoming Olympics, the Philadelphia 76ers star has taken firm steps to recruit…

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The best player in the NBA has never been international. Center Joel Embiid, who was voted the best player last year in the American League, was born 29 years ago in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and obtained French citizenship in July 2022, and two months later he obtained an American passport. With three bids on the table, and the Olympics coming up, the Philadelphia 76ers star has made steady strides to join the European squad for Paris 2024. The French national team has been rubbing its hands imagining an inside partner with Victor Winbanyama in the event it will be participating in. will host, but after the last World Championship LeBron James rang the bell for the United States and began recruiting allies to defend Olympic gold. In addition to homegrown glories like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, ready for one last dance, the USL has signed Joel Embiid. The 2.13 meter high tower has passed the testing phase Marselissa To follow the Stars and Stripes anthem.

“I am very proud and excited about this decision. It was not easy. I am grateful to invite Cameroon, France and the United States home. After I spoke with my family, I knew that I had to play for the USA Basketball Team. I was very proud of it,” said Embiid, who moved to North America when he was He is 16 years old: “I want to honor my son who was born in this country. I want him to know that I participated in the first Olympic Games for him.”

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The European Center is responsible

Number three of Draft 2014, selected by the Sixers, was called up by Cameroon to participate in the 2017 Afrobasket tournament, but did not participate due to injuries. It was after the Tokyo 2021 Games when he personally knocked on France's door. Embiid explained that he has a distant French relative, and that although he never lived there, he dreamed of being one. blue. He even spoke to the team's leading players, Gobert, Fournier and Batum, and to the national team's sporting director, Boris Diaw, to offer his services. With the OK From the locker room, Embiid managed to convince the federation to pull its strings among the political class to accelerate the nationalization process that was given the green light in July last year, before the European Basketball Championship. Although he again struggled with a physical problem, a hand operation prevented him from making his debut for France. The French team has kept its word by registering for the World Cup or upcoming games. Until LeBron showed up. Changing the shirt today is seen as a mockery and humiliation in France. The deity alone is Wimbanyama.

For the United States, it is not just a signature. The Steve Kerr-led selection not only includes the current NBA MVP, a prodigy who finished last season with 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists on average per night, and who this season stands out as the league's leading scorer. With a score of 31.9 points. in the middle. Embiid's landing covers a position dominated by European players in the NBA. Among the best scoring positions this season, Serbian Jokic occupies second place after Embiid with 27.4 points per night, and Turkey’s Singun, Latvia’s Porzingis, Montenegro Vucevic, Lithuania’s Valanciunas, Frenchman Winbanyama and Gobert are also among the top 15. In rebounds, the first is Jokic (13.1 assists per duel), followed by Frenchman Gobert (11.8), and in the top 15 are also Vucevic, Valanciunas, Winbanyama, Singun, Swiss Capela, Bosnian Nurkic, and Croatian Zubac. . Nothing strange about an increasingly international league once again breaking the record for non-American players: 125.

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Banchero for the United States against Italy in the last World Cup.Rolex Della Pena (EFE)

Embiid is a college item, a star who will make $47 million this season as part of an increased contract that will be worth about $60 million in his final campaign, 2026-27. His performance is paid for in gold and many franchises have him on their radar.

After two slams in the last two World Cups (seventh in 2019 and fourth in 2023, after losses to Lithuania, Germany and Canada), the United States wants to go all-in to the Games. The experience of the last World Series, when Kerr called up 12 rookies, is no longer valid. If LeBron calls, everyone signs. Including Embiid. Goodbye to the romantic idea of ​​Cameroon and the initial plan for France.

The United States has signed the NBA's top rookie, just as a few months ago it signed the league's top rookie last season. And also in foreign waters. Power forward Paolo Banchero made his debut for the U.S. senior national team at the recent World Cup after leaving Italy at the last minute, the country to which he said “yes, I want.” Paolo Napoleon James Panchero was born 21 years ago in Seattle, a descendant of Italian immigrants on his father's side, and obtained his passport. azzurro In 2020, he was set to wear blue at the Tokyo Olympics and was included in the previous invitation to the 2022 European Basketball Championship, although he did not play in it either. When he was elected number one in Draft That summer by the Orlando Magic, he was snapped parading wrapped in the Italian flag. But on the way to the altar, he changed his girlfriend and hugged the US team, for which his mother, Rhonda Smith, played. The Italian Federation considered it treason. As in Embiid's case, the hand went to the stronger. Where his inexhaustible collection doesn't reach, Team USA buys some of the best cards.

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