Knicks’ Evan Fournier takes shot at Joel Embiid after Olympics announcement

A disappointing fourth-place finish at the 2023 FIBA World Cup isn’t something New York Knicks’ Jalen Brunson wants to discuss. On the other hand, RJ Barrett is happy to talk about Canada’s third-place finish that secured a trip to the 2024 Olympics.

On Sept. 11, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Joe Vardon reported that LeBron James was not only interested in having one last Olympics run (subscription required) but that he had already recruited other NBA superstars to join him.

Joel Embiid’s name was floated around as a star who could commit to Team USA, with France and Cameroon as other options. He confirmed his decision to play for the United States next summer on Thursday while in Fort Collins, Colo., for Philadelphia’s training camp.

Soon after the news broke, Evan Fournier tweeted “Fierté,” which means “Pride” in French, with a flag gif.

Evan Fournier tried to recruit Joel Embiid to represent France at Olympics

Grant Hill, the managing director for the United States National Team, wasn’t the only person recruiting Joel Embiid. The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Joe Vardon reported on Thursday that Evan Fournier met with Embiid (subscription required).

While the French long figured to be the frontrunner to land Embiid — Hill’s counterpart for Team France, Boris Diaw, also met with Embiid multiple times, as did French players such as Evan Fournier — Hill remained dogged in his belief that he could successfully recruit Embiid.

Embiid isn’t a native of France like Fournier, but the star center secured citizenship in France and the United States last year. The French National Team hoped Embiid would represent France at the World Cup over the summer, but he decided to sit the tournament out.

If Embiid’s healthy next summer, he’ll have the chance to win his first-ever Olympics gold medal with what’s expected to be a stacked U.S. squad. Kevin Durant confirmed he plans to represent the United States at Phoenix’s Media Day on Monday.

Evan Fournier’s recruiting efforts didn’t pay off, and hopefully, the guard didn’t try to dissuade Joel Embiid from one day playing for the Knicks.