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Frédéric Weis Calls for Joel Embiid to Be Banned from France for Choosing Team USA in Olympics


Frédéric Weis, a former French national team player, has expressed his strong disapproval of Joel Embiid’s decision to play for Team USA Basketball in the upcoming Olympics hosted in Paris. Weis, who is famously known for being on the receiving end of Vince Carter’s iconic “dunk of death” in the 2000 Olympics, voiced his disdain for Embiid on his radio show at the French station RMC. He referred to the Philadelphia 76ers center as both a great player and a “dirty guy,” stating that he hates him for his actions.

Weis believes that Embiid’s decision to play for Team USA instead of France shows a lack of respect for his home country and for those who have been denied French citizenship. He finds it scandalous and embarrassing that Embiid, as a great athlete, was able to obtain French citizenship while others have been unsuccessful in their attempts. Weis disregards any excuses or explanations from Embiid, asserting that they hold no value.

Joel Embiid, who was born and raised in Cameroon before moving to the United States in high school, had previously expressed interest in playing for France. In 2018, he mentioned in an interview with French newspaper L’Équipe that his first choice for international play was Cameroon, but France and the U.S. were also options. Embiid has family ties to France, but he has never lived there.

Despite never having played internationally, Embiid claims that he never told Team France anything different from what was quoted in the newspaper. However, Boris Diaw, the general manager of the French men’s team, contradicts this statement. Diaw stated in an interview with The Athletic in 2023 that Embiid personally expressed his desire to play for France and win with the team.

A spokesperson for Embiid denies that he ever requested citizenship but acknowledges that he was granted a French passport in 2022. There are reports of a letter sent by Embiid to French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he allegedly expressed his desire to obtain French naturalization and solely play for the French national team.

In response to what he perceives as betrayal from Embiid, Weis jokingly suggested that Embiid should be banned from entering France and stripped of his French nationality. He even proposed that Embiid be denied entry at the airport and told to return to his home country, Cameroon.

Weis, who won an Olympic silver medal in 2000 and was a first-round pick for the New York Knicks in 1999, accused Embiid of taking a shortcut to win a gold medal by joining Team USA.

Despite Weis’ bitter comments towards the French national team, he has previously stated in a 2015 interview with ESPN that he has no regrets about being posterized by Vince Carter’s dunk. He acknowledged that the experience taught him that people can fly.

Overall, Weis’ strong disapproval of Joel Embiid’s decision to play for Team USA Basketball instead of France highlights the emotional attachment and national pride associated with representing one’s home country. The controversy surrounding Embiid’s citizenship and his intentions to play for France adds another layer to the ongoing debate. While Weis’ comments may be seen as biased due to his personal experiences, they reflect the passionate opinions that arise when international sports loyalties come into play.

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