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February 05, 2018

Joel Embiid wanted to celebrate Eagles' Super Bowl win by 'jumping over cars' with fellow fans

'It was insane. I wish I was in town,' the Sixers center said.

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020518-JoelEmbiid-USAToday Mark D. Smith/USA Today

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is seen on the bench in a break in action against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

There is no discounting the impact a Super Bowl win will have on the city of Philadelphia. The jokes from NFC East rivals about having no rings? Done. The existential dread about never seeing an Eagles title in your lifetime? Kaput. A weight is off the shoulders of the city for good.

That spiritual lift is going to apply not just to the everyday citizens of Philadelphia, but to the other teams who watched a city explode once their team won the big game. Success breeds more success, and the up-and-coming Sixers see the Eagles' title as motivation to create some special memories of their own.

Brett Brown expressed great admiration for the job Doug Pederson did at the helm of the Eagles this season, and he described a morning meeting with his team in which they sat around and talked about what each individual took from watching Philadelphia's story unfold.

It's just an amazing story of perseverance, it's an amazing story of belief. You pay attention to the injury to Carson and how they're going to respond, either with Foles or the rest of the team, and it's a hell of a story.
To envisage what a Wells Fargo arena would look like during the playoffs gets us all going. There are lots of pieces to add up to make that result a reality, but everybody had fantastic points about how they saw the game, what they felt in the light of day, and the reasons we can all point to the Eagles as the NFL champs. It's hard to be a champion.

Some of the guys were able to have a closer view of the game, with teammates Justin Anderson and Joel Embiid chartering a flight to and from Minnesota in order to take in the Super Bowl as fans. They had to make it back home to go to work at practice on Tuesday, which meant sitting on an icy runway in Minneapolis and not arriving until 3 a.m. last night.

To hear them describe it, the lack of sleep was more than worth it. Anderson is friendly with several of the Eagles players, notably Chris Long, Torrey Smith and Rodney McLeod, and he saw lessons that can be passed on from their team to his own watching them triumph in the ultimate game.

Anything can happen. It just shows if you continue to work hard every day, you know those guys are all pieces of the puzzle. Sometimes it's hard to see where you want to be in a position where you're not the face of a team or the star of a team. Those guys came in collectively and they executed and played really well.

How that translates to us is everybody's got to do their job. You've got to continue to work on your craft, and who knows where it will take you.

And of course, there is the man in the middle of everything for the Sixers, the franchise center who has embraced the city like few star athletes have. In the immediate aftermath of the game, a jubilant Embiid made a simple proclamation: "We up next, and I'm going to do my best to do it."

He was a little more reserved on Monday, no doubt shaking off the after-effects of the celebration like a lot of ordinary Philadelphia residents. His only regret about going to Minnesota for the game was not being home to live it up with the people in his adopted hometown. 

"It was insane. I wish I was in town, I would have been jumping over cars, and doing the same thing they were doing," said Embiid. "That just shows you the passion the fans in this city have, and I want to be in that type of situation too."

Perhaps it was best for everyone that he was, uh, not jumping over cars in Philadelphia. But if the Sixers can bottle even a fraction of the energy created by the Super Bowl victory, they will be better for it.


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