Sixers Call Out Hollywood Superstar Amid ‘Ultimate Bell Ringer’ Debate

Bradley Cooper, Will Smith

Getty Philly-born actors Will Smith and Bradley Cooper chat at the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards.

James Harden wasn’t the only one repping the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday Night Football. Bradley Cooper was spotted in the stadium cheering on his hometown football team, too. The Hollywood actor was juicing up the crowd while showing his love for the Sixers via a retro Allen Iverson shirt.

Cooper — a big-time Philly sports fan, on and off the silver screen — was being showered with love on Twitter for his wardrobe choice. And the “Cooper Iverson shirt” quickly turned into a hot selling item on the internet.

The Sixers were smartly watching everything unfold from afar, then pounced on the opportunity. Their social media team put out a plea to get in touch with Cooper: “he seems like he’d be a great bell ringer this season!” It’s a great honor to ring the ceremonial Liberty Bell prior to Sixers games.

It’s a great honor to ring the ceremonial Liberty Bell prior to Sixers games. Cooper would join the likes of Meek Mill, Kevin Hart, Charlie Manuel, Dawn Staley, M. Night Shyamalan, Michael B. Jordan — and, of course, Iverson himself. Someone needs to track down Cooper and make him do it.

‘Ultimate Bell Ringer List’ for 2022-23 Season

1. Jalen Hurts: The Sixers know how crazy Wells Fargo Center gets when Philadelphia Eagles players are in the house. Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, and Haason Reddick had some fun last season at the expense of Tyler Herro at a playoff game. Hurts is QB1 and on his way to NFL MVP (jinx). It’s hard to argue any better choice to fire the crowd up for the home opener on October 20 against Milwaukee. That game, coincidentally, happens during the Eagles’ bye week.

2. Bradley Cooper: Assuming his new Netflix movie about legendary composter Leonard Berstein is wrapped up, Cooper is the perfect choice to lather the crowd into a frenzy when the Los Angeles Lakers — the pride of Hollywood — come to town on December 9. The Jenkintown, PA native has never been shy about professing his love for his hometown, telling CBS News: “I have a tremendous amount of pride because my family’s roots are imbedded in Philly.” One other connection: Cooper attended Georgetown University when Allen Iverson was there.

3. Sam Hinkie: The Architect of The Process never got to complete his master class on tanking (blame Adam Silver), but the calls for him to ring the bell have been raging. Joel Embiid suggested Hinkie deserved the opportunity to do it in 2021. The Sixers would be dipping their toes into some shallow water if they brought their former GM back, but the ovation would blow the roof off the arena. Hinkie has a cult following in Philly, one that arguably rivals Rocky Balboa. Any game. It doesn’t matter.

4. Will Smith, with Chris Rock: The disgraced Oscar winner is in desperate need of positive PR after his cringe-worthy stunt at last year’s Academy Awards. He slapped one of America’s most beloved comedians, then rightfully received a 10-year ban. Smith, who has a minority ownership stake in the Sixers, has since apologized while keeping a low profile. Time to get back out there. And what better way to do it than by showing up when the Sixers host the New York Knicks on November 4 … with special guest Chris Rock. (Remember, the Knicks are Rock’s favorite team).

5. Nia Long: Too soon? Probably. The Boston Celtics have been dragged through the mud enough this offseason. Save the date: February 25, 2023.

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