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NBA MVP Joel Embiid commits to 2024 Olympic Games...with Team USA

Failure to medal at this year's FIBA World Cup has served as a serious wake-up call to the NBA's American stars -- Team USA is determined to return to the top of the basketball world.

Winning gold at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris will be the goal, if not the expectation, after reigning NBA MVPJoel Embiid on Thursday chose to represent the United States over France -- a surprise end to a fierce recruiting battle that had been taking place behind the scenes.

Why did Embiid join Team USA?

According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Embiid had been discussing his international future with Grant Hill, the Hall of Fame small forward and Team USA's current executive director. He made his decision and informed Hill on Thursday, putting an end to a sprint for his services from the US, France, and Cameroon, where Embiid was born.

Embiid, who holds French and American citizenship, has been inspired to help Team USA return to its former glory after recent disappointing tournament results. Although Team USA has won the gold medal at each of the past four Summer Olympic Games, it finished a shock seventh at the 2019 FIBA World Cup and failed to medal at the 2023 edition, mustering only a fourth-place finish -- the first time in over 50 years that the US could not achieve a podium finish in consecutive World Cups.

Embiid wants to put a stop to that downward trend -- and he has reportedly been further inspired by the prospect of winning gold in front of his three-year-old son Arthur, who is an American citizen by birth.

Joel being Joel: Embiid posterizes a guy during a pickup game

Embiid windmill dunks on a random guy in the parkParker Johnson

The makings of an unforgettable team

Embiid's commitment shows that Team USA is launching a successful effort to attract some of the NBA's biggest stars to its cause.

Stephen Curry and LeBron James are among the other superstars who are pondering joining forces next year at the Olympics. At Golden State's media day this week, Curry all but confirmed his intention to join up with Team USA -- which is currently coached by Steve Kerr, the Warriors' head coach since 2014.

"Definitely want to be on the team," Curry said.

Embiid's final decision might set off a chain reaction among the NBA's elite American players. Phoenix's Kevin Durant and Miami's Bam Adebayo have already committed to Paris 2024, while Adebayo's teammate Jimmy Butler has also signaled his interest. Anthony Davis, James's star running mate in Los Angeles, is also weighing up whether to go to the Olympics.

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