Joel Embiid Faces 16-Day Victor Wembanyama Ultimatum Amid James Harden Fiasco

Published 09/24/2023, 1:17 PM EDT

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The reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid has been a dominant force in the league. Born in Cameron, he moved to the United States at a young age to pursue basketball. The leading scorer for the Philly Sixers has citizenships from three countries. That means he can represent either the US, France, or Cameron in the Olympics. 

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Meanwhile, in his league team, there emerged upsetting news when his teammate, James Harden, declared that he would not play for the Sixers ever again.  

France has given Embiid a 16-day deadline to make the call

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French Basketball Federation has set a deadline for Joel Embiid to decide whether he will represent France in the upcoming  2024 Olympics in Paris. Federation president Jean-Pierre Siutat said, “It will happen very quickly in all cases. I think he knows it. We may have an answer by October 10th. We have set this deadline.”

Embiid, who is still undecided, holds both French and American citizenship and has the option to play for either team. The managing director of the team USA, Grant Hill, has been linked to the possibility of Embidd playing for the US. In an interview with NBA insider Marc Stein, Grant said that he “had some discussions with him, and he (Embidd) knows our desire to have him a part of our program. So we’ll see sort of where that goes.”

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If he decides to play for the French, we will him paired with French-born Victor Wembanyama for the gold. Wemby’s professional career began in France, where he played for Nanterre 92, ASVEL, and Metropolitans 92 before making his way to the NBA. He has confirmed his participation in France in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

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James Harden’s fiasco with the Sixers 

Meanwhile, Embiid is facing a tough time in the Sixers as teammate Harden is trying to leave. They have been teammates for the past two seasons and have developed a strong rapport. Harden has even said that Embiid is the best player in the NBA. Harden’s fiasco with Philly comes from Daryl Morey. He was reportedly unhappy with the way Morey handled the Ben Simmons trade situation. He was also unhappy with the lack of roster moves the Sixers made during the offseason. Harden even publicly called Morey a ‘liar’ and declared not to play with him ever again.

Despite Calling Daryl Morey a ‘Liar’ in Front of 1.4 Billion Fans, James Harden Would “Show Up For Training Camp” per Rich Eisen

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In June 2023, Harden declined his player option for the 2023-24 season, making him a free agent. The Sixers have said that they want to keep Harden and even offered him a four-year, $200 million contract. However, it is unclear if Harden will sign the contract. That has put Embiid in a difficult position as he might have to compete for the championship without Harden on the roster.

WATCH THIS STORY: Kobe Bryant’s Ruthless Trash–Talking With Michael Jordan, James Harden, and Others

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Written by:

Chetan Kumar

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Chetan is an NBA content writer at Essentially Sports. Being an active basketball player since his school days, he has always been a dedicated follower of the NBA. His passion for the game has drove him to pursue a career in sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja

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