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May 10, 2023

Who should ring the bell before the Sixers' Game 6 matchup with the Celtics?

Who will ring the bell before the Sixers' monumental Game 6 matchup with Boston at the Wells Fargo Center? Here are 10 options.

It feels like Sixers fans say it before every playoff game, but it's more true than ever: Game 6 on Thursday against the Celtics is the most important game for this franchise since the 2001 NBA Finals. After crushing Boston in a Game 5 win in Beantown, the Sixers are coming back home with a chance to close this baby out on Thursday night in front of a rabid South Philadelphia crowd and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 22 years. 

Understandably, Sixers fans are wondering who will ring the bell, the team's pregame tradition, before this monumental matchup. I care about this more than any sane person should, so here are some options the Sixers can consider...

The Classics

Allen Iverson: Iverson is around the Wells Fargo Center all the time, which sometimes makes his appearances less special and unique to me, but there's no doubt about his place in this city's sports history. I would not be the basketball lover that I am if not for Iverson's run in Philadelphia. As I said, the Sixers have a chance to do something they haven't done since his masterful 2001 season. Why not get him to do the honors?

• Julius Erving: Similar to Iverson, Erving frequently pops up at Sixers games, but he's one of the most important players in the history of the sport. Dr. J's Sixers teams beat the Celtics three times (1977, 1980 and 1982) on the way to NBA Finals berths. That would work. 

• Andrew Toney: I can't speak to Toney's current relationship with the Sixers organization, but "The Boston Strangler"taking this honor is quite fitting, right? 

The Birds

Jalen Hurts: The NFL MVP runner-up in 2022, no figure currently playing in Philadelphia is more beloved than Hurts at the moment. He'd send that Sixers crowd into a frenzy. 

Howie Roseman: Does anyone have a higher approval rating in Philly right now than Roseman? That thought was unthinkable just two years ago, but may legitimately be true now. After rebuilding the Eagles into a Super Bowl team once again, he nailed the NFL Draft last month. Good vibes.

Nick Foles: This is less realistic than these two above choices, but the Colts released Foles last week, making him a free agent. Is his NFL career done? What if Foles rang the bell on Thursday night and then signed a one-day contract with the Birds on Friday to retire as an Eagle? He knows all about taking down Boston.

Brandon Graham: The other Eagles player synonymous with beating a New England team, Graham would be a great get. Show a video of his strip sack against Tom Brady on the big screen before he rings the bell, too.

Nick Sirianni: He's probably wearing a bootleg Joel Embiid MVP t-shirt as I type this. 

The Anti-Hero

Taylor Swift: Swift, a Berks County native, is in Philly this weekend for three nights of concerts from Friday to Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. She once sang "The National Anthem" before a Phillies World Series game at Citizens Bank Park in 2008. I'd certainly wager she's much too high profile for this type of undertaking, but, hey, maybe she needs to reconnect with her local roots. 

The Most Boring Person Alive

Random person: There's a line of thought amongst a certain segment of Sixers fans that the more boring and uninspired the bell ringer choice, the better chance the Sixers have of winning. If you subscribe to that belief, I totally get your superstition, so maybe you're rooting for it to be some person no one's ever heard of or a D-List celebrity.

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