We all know Joel Embiid is a world-class player and extremely dominant. It is very rare to come by athletes who can work at his caliber. So rare that they appear once in a blue moon. With the NBA, we have seen this happen consistently every decade. The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player is slowly starting to take over the league as many of us probably expected him to do. But what if we saw him play for Team USA?
USAB had an upsetting race to the finish line during the 2023 FIBA World Cup. After achieving an impressive undefeated record during the group stages, Team USA ultimately caved into the pressure. The country has not had a pretty journey during the World Cup. During the previous World Cup, Team USA finished seventh, which was quite disappointing when compared to their win streak in the Olympics. One would expect them to continue dominating, however, that hasn’t been the case.
USAB had their first loss of the tournament against Lithuania during the second stage of the FIBA World Cup tournament. Even then things seemed fairly great as they were moving in the right direction. But their loss to Germany, a team that had a deep roster but a weaker one when compared to USAB’s, was utterly embarrassing. To add fuel to the fire, losing the Canadians brought a lot of criticism. But now, experts believe Joel Embiid should step in.
Joel Embiid may not play international basketball due to physical health concerns
If you paid close attention, USAB had a great roster during the World Cup. It featured Paolo Banchero (reigning Rookie of the Year / 20 points per game scorer), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Reigning DPOY), Anthony Edwards, who is one of the young leaders in the NBA, and several other potential stars. But as Austin Reaves claimed, they lacked effective defense. It was precisely why Canada outscored the USA as well. But they also lacked consistent scoring.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated claims Joel Embiid could be the solution. He told SI, “The U.S. needs help. It needs Joel Embiid.” He added, “Embiid is interested in playing internationally, those close to him say. Part of why he has not is health. The center has battled injuries for most of his NBA career, injuries that often require lengthy recovery time in the offseason. And there is the question of who he would play for.”
“The U.S. needs help. It needs Joel Embiid.”
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) September 11, 2023
Joel Embiid was born in Cameroon. However, the All-Star holds dual residency with the United States and France. The latter would have great success with Embiid on the roster in addition to Victor Wembanyama and players like Evan Fournier, as Mannix suggested. Not to forget, France is also one of USAB’s biggest rivals. Team USA would have to do a lot of convincing to acquire Embiid. But he could certainly fill the void of a primary scorer and defender on the roster.