The question of naturalization is still much talked about in the world of sport, all the more so following the steps taken by Joel Embiid to become French. A big name in the NBA notably delivered his cash and spicy opinion on the subject at the microphone of RMC Sports !
While he was supposed to have a quiet summer after his operation on his right thumb and left index finger, his big decision about his international career changed everything. Cameroonians by birth, Joel Embiid decided a few weeks ago to obtain French nationality. A choice that obviously does not go unnoticed in France and beyond.
Through this initiative, the star pivot of the 76ers should indeed be able to strengthen the Blues in the next major competitions. Probably starting with the 2023 World Cup, then the 2024 Paris Olympics. The subject nevertheless remains controversial from an ethical point of view. Not only in the minds of certain executives of the tricolor locker roombut also in some European rivals.
Serge Ibaka’s pike on the naturalization of Embiid
Subject of a recent interview with RMC SportsSerge Ibaka, himself a naturalized Spaniard despite his Congolese origins, immediately sought to differentiate his case from that of Embiid:
Everyone has their own way of seeing things. Me, on the other hand, I lived in Spain, I speak Spanish well, so for me, I found it normal. Afterwards, as I said, everyone thinks what they want, but me, on that side, I don’t have much to say.
In addition to his liabilities in Spain and his mastery of the Iberian language, the interior of La Roja recalls that he began his learning of basketball in his adopted country:
I’m not going to say it was 100% natural for me, but still, I lived there, and I started playing basketball there. This is where I really learned the fundamentals of basketball. So I thought to myself, “Why not”.
Even if he also speaks French, Embiid cannot claim to have completed his training, or even played even one season in France. Spotted in Cameroon, JoJo immediately moved to the United States, where he ended up making a name for himself on the high school circuit. What, in fact, to distinguish himself from Serge Ibaka, and make his case more controversial in the eyes of the Bucks player.
Once these meaningful words were balanced, “Air Congo” looked at the purely sporting aspect, and obviously believes that Embiid’s arrival with the Blues represents a big plus for Vincent Collet’s band:
He is strong. Joel Embiid is very strong. But afterwards, to win, it takes a whole team. It’s a team sport. I think he will help a lot because he is strong. He is one of the best players in the current league, so it seems logical that he will help a lot.
Well placed to express himself on this controversial subject, Serge Ibaka wishes to distance himself from Joel Embiid, whose French naturalization would be less “natural” than his. All this, not forgetting to note the danger that his coming to the Blues represents for La Roja!