Joel Embiid slammed by Fred Weis for choosing USA over France before 2024 Paris Olympics

  • Born in Cameroon, Embiid has no ties to France and grew up in the US
  • The Sixers star was selected to the American basketball Olympic squad a few days ago
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Former New York Knicks draft bust Frederic Weis has criticized Joel Embiid for turning down France to play for Team USA this summer, while jokingly suggesting the NBA star should be banned from the 2024 Olympics in Paris altogether.

Weis – a 2000 Olympic silver medalist and victim of Vince Carter’s infamous dunk of death – didn’t hold back when he spoke about Embiid – the reigning NBA MVP – on a French radio station on Saturday. His comments come just days after Embiid was named to USA Basketball’s Olympic roster.

In March, France national basketball team president Jean-Pierre Siutat criticized the 76ers star for turning down the opportunity to play for Les Bleus two years after starting Embiid’s naturalization process to become a French citizen.

Born in Cameroon, Embiid has also been naturalized as a US citizen since 2022 and can therefore play for his native country, the Star and Stripes, or France, despite having no ties with the latter. He turned down the chance to play for Cameroon in 2017.

“I consider this guy as much of a great player as he is a dirty guy. I hate him because of the things he did. I think he has no respect for France and also for all the people who ask for a French passport and don’t get it. And under the pretense of being a great athlete, he got it. I find it scandalous, I find it embarrassing. I don’t care about his excuses because they are his words, and his words mean nothing,” Weis said.

Embiid – the NBA's reigning MVP – in the 76ers' first-round matchup against the Knicks on Saturday

Knicks draft bust Frederic Weis has called out Joel Embiid for snubling France for Team USA in this summer’s Olympics in Paris

Weis, who was drafted by the Knicks as a first-round pick in 1999, was never allowed to play in the NBA

Weis, who was drafted by the Knicks as a first-round pick in 1999, was never allowed to play in the NBA

The former center back, who never played professionally in the NBA despite being drafted by the Knicks as a first-round pick in 1999, went on to explain the French Basketball Federation’s logic in luring Embiid to the national team, and his reason to hold a grudge against the national team. seven-time All-Star.

“We have to put one thing into context: Joel Embiid is an extraordinary basketball player. “He was the NBA MVP last year and that’s why France decided to give him the passport last summer because we would make great gains on the sporting front,” he said.

‘For me we live in an era of sports business and now we choose the national team, much like we choose our club. Who makes the better offer? Who gives me the best chance of winning? I’m going there. And unfortunately that is accepted almost everywhere.’

Weis is also known as a victim of Vince Carter's infamous 'dunk of death'

Weis is also known as a victim of Vince Carter’s infamous ‘dunk of death’

When it was pointed out to Weis that Embiid’s naturalization process to become a French citizen began in 2021, and that the player knew the U.S. was the favorite to win gold at the Olympics this summer, Weis recalled what happened three years ago in Tokyo has happened.

“Just think about what happened in 2021,” he said of the Olympic final between France and the US, which ended in a narrow 87-82 victory for the Star and Stripes. ‘We were in the final against the US and the final margin was close. France was always among the top contenders.’

When asked how he would resolve the whole Embiid situation, Weis apparently joked, “I would deprive him of French citizenship and ban him from entering France. You’re not playing in the Olympics. You’ll come to the airport with Team USA and we’ll say, ”You have no right to enter the area, go to your home.” You’re Cameroonian, you’re American, you’re not French, go away.” ”

Embiid dropped 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Philadelphia’s first game of a first-round playoff series against the Knicks on Saturday. Game 2 will be played Monday at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is at 7:30 PM ET.