Gobert and Fournier are both 25 years old now, and not only have they reached the NBA, but they have developed into critical players for their respective teams. Gobert, a 7-foot-1 center, routinely contends for NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors and has helped the Utah Jazz challenge for a Western Conference playoff spot. Fournier, a 6-foot-7 wing, ranks as the Orlando Magic’s second-leading scorer. They’ve also become close friends. “We’ve known each other for a long, long time now,” Fournier said. “So it helps definitely. With the other French players, like [Nicolas] Batum or Tony [Parker], they are a little bit older than me, so we’ve only known each other since I’ve been in the NBA. With Rudy, we’ve known each other since before high school, before middle school. We just have good chemistry.”
Former NBA forward Damjan Rudez has signed with AS Monaco Basket, a team that plays in LNB Pro A in France, the club announced today (via Twitter).
Although Parker has nothing personal against the Sixers Center, he just feels roster spots should be given to native French players. “I think you have to play the national team with the players who are from the country, who grew up there, all that.” “For me it’s just a matter of principle. Because, Joel Embiid is a good guy. I only heard good things about him. I spoke with Timothy ( Luwawu-Cabarrot, who plays with the Cameroonian Sixer), and he’s a great guy. He laughs, he speaks French, all that. It’s nothing against him. It’s just a matter of principle.
Orlando Magic Player and France international Evan Fournier is not best pleased with the recent news that Joel Embiid is interested in joining the French. “Stop with the articles on Joel in the French national team please, it becomes ridiculously serious,” Fournier wrote in a tweet, translated in French. “For me playing for a country with which you have no ties is disturbing. The national team is not just a sporting challenge,” Fournier also tweeted.