“Them winning has been huge for the city and for us,” Ben Simmons said. “It motivates us to get there and bring championships here, which is really exciting.”
The Wells Fargo Center filled with the Eagles’ fight song and “E-A-G-L-E-S” chants throughout the arena on Tuesday (see video) as members of the offensive line rang the pregame ceremonial bell.
The Sixers kept the momentum going with a 115-102 victory over the Wizards and improved to 26-25 (see observations).
“Since they won, I feel like it kind of puts pressure on us,” Joel Embiid said. “We’re young, it’s going to come, we’ve just got to keep it working together. But it’s great. We knew that the atmosphere was going to be amazing, so we wanted to come out and play up to the competition and give our all.”
The Sixers are scheduled to practice the day of the Eagles’ parade. If that changes, some are considering being part of the action. Embiid, who attended the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, may be part of the crowd.
“If we don’t [have practice], you never know with me,” Embiid said. “It depends on how I feel. They told me that it’s going to be crazy, so I might stay at home. But you never know. I make decisions usually five minutes before I’ve got to do something. So if we don’t, I’m going to go out there in the streets, jumping all over the place with the fans.”
Simmons lives near the parade route. After seeing the postgame celebration on Sunday, he doesn’t expect to be able to leave his house Thursday afternoon.
“Seeing how passionate they (the fans) are, I don’t know if I agree with tearing the city down, but that was insane,” Simmons said. “It just shows you how much they love the team and love the city.”
The Sixers know championships don’t happen overnight. Their goal is to build a foundation for a winning team this season that also can contend for another title for Philadelphia. In the meantime, they can envision what purely making the postseason would mean.
“You feel the city,” Brett Brown said. “We want that. We want to have a playoff game here.”