Former French national team player has ‘hate’ for Joel Embiid for choosing Team USA: ‘I find it embarrassing’

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Former French national big man Frederic Weis — who earned a silver medal playing for France in the 2000 Olympics — ripped Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid for his choice to play for Team USA in the upcoming 2024 Olympics instead of representing France.

“I consider this boy a great player as much as he is a dirty guy,” Weis said. “I hate him for the things that he did. I think he doesn’t have any respect for France and also for all the people who are asking for a French passport and don’t get it. And under the pretext that he is a great athlete, he got it. I find it scandalous, I find it embarrassing. I don’t care about his excuses, cause they are his words, and his words mean nothing.”

Weis also jokingly said that Embiid should be stripped of his French citizenship, which the 30-year-old earned back in 2022.

“I would take away from him the French nationality and I would ban him from entering France,” Weis said. “You will not play in the Olympics. You will come to the airport with Team USA and we will say, ‘You don’t have the right to enter the territory, go to your home. You are Cameroonian, you are American, you are not French, go away.’”

Embiid is one of the 12 NBA players who are slated to suit up for Team USA in the Olympics. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum are among the stars who have been selected to join Embiid in Paris this summer.

The big man is currently focused on the 76ers’ first-round series against Jalen Brunson and the New York Knicks, though. Philadelphia is in jeopardy of digging itself a hole against New York if the team can’t pull out a win in Monday’s Game 2, considering the 76ers lost the first game of the series by seven points.

Embiid totaled 29 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals on 8-of-22 shooting from the field and 2-of-8 from deep in the 76ers’ first game of the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

But the former first-round pick didn’t lead Philadelphia in scoring in Game 1. Guard Tyrese Maxey finished with a game-high 33 points and shot the ball much more efficiently than Embiid did, as the 23-year-old converted 14 of his 26 shots from the floor.

Embiid missed more than half of Philadelphia’s 82 contests during the 2023-24 regular season, but when he was healthy enough to play, he put up gaudy numbers. He averaged a career-high 34.7 points along with 11.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game across 39 appearances with the 76ers on 52.9 percent shooting from the floor and 38.8 percent from deep.

The University of Kansas product projects to be an important part of the 2024 iteration of Team USA and will hopefully use his two-way chops to lead the country to a gold medal in the near future.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.