Embiid (knee) says he’s on target for Olympics


DALLAS — Joel Embiid was at the NBA Finals on Friday night and said his next stop is the Olympics.

The Philadelphia 76ers center, who missed more than half of the regular season and then was hobbled in the playoffs because of a knee injury, said in a televised interview that his recovery is going well and he believes he’ll be ready to play for the U.S. at the Paris Games starting next month.

“I’m doing great. Just getting ready for the Olympics,” Embiid said in an appearance on ABC’s pregame show before Game 4 between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics. “It’s going to be big for me because I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a kid.”

Embiid’s health has been one of the questions surrounding the U.S. roster since it was revealed earlier this spring. He’s one of three centers on the roster, along with Miami Heat‘s Bam Adebayo and the Los Angeles LakersAnthony Davis.

Other injury questions in recent weeks have revolved around the status of Indiana PacersTyrese Haliburton and the LA ClippersKawhi Leonard, both of whom were either hobbled or sidelined during the playoffs. The Pacers expect that Haliburton, who dealt with a hamstring problem, will be ready for the start of USA camp in Las Vegas on July 5; Leonard missed 12 of the Clippers’ final 14 games this season with right knee inflammation.

Embiid had options on which team to play for this summer. He could have played for France, and even his native Cameroon, which still has a chance to qualify for the 12-team field. But in October, he chose to play for the U.S., in part because his son is American.

“For the past few years, every decision I’ve made has been based on just family,” Embiid said last year when revealing his decision. “My family, my son, and having the chance to represent a country like the U.S., with my son being born here. … I love my home country, but I really wanted to play in the Olympics.”

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