It’s a great time to have any affiliation with the Philadelphia 76ers. The team looks like it has what it takes to upend the Miami Heat in round one of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and seeing as how no team in the Eastern Conference has looked as dangerous as they have so far, there’s chatter about how terrifying the Sixers will be over the next few years.
But in Joel Embiid‘s eyes, there’s no time like the present, and Philadelphia’s immediate future looks pretty good, too. While the Sixers certainly look like they’ll be a contender in the Eastern Conference for some time, Embiid thinks the window is open for Philadelphia to make noise right now.
Embiid spoke to the media on Monday, one day before the Sixers take the floor in Philadelphia with the chance to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. He’s apparently pretty stoked for WWE Greatest Royal Rumble, because he dropped a famous John Cena line while discussing what lies ahead in the short and long-term futures of the organization.
“I think our time is now,” Embiid said, according to Ian Begley of ESPN. “We have a special team, a lot of great guys. I don’t think we need anybody else. We’ve just got to work with what we have. We have a special team, and I feel like we have a pretty good chance to go far.”
Embiid is right that the Sixers are in a great spot right now, although that might be because the future could look very different. Four rotation players — J.J. Redick, Amir Johnson, Marco Belinelli, and Ersan Ilyasova — are all unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Redick, Belinelli, and Ilyasova have all been especially important, as they’ve provided crucial floor spacing for Philadelphia this postseason.
Of course, it’s not hard to sell free agents on playing in an offense where you’re allowed to hoist up threes while playing alongside Embiid and Ben Simmons, but it really does feel like something special might be happening in Philly this year. Perhaps Embiid is right and the team will get to borrow another adage from Cena later this summer.