Why do they ring a bell before every Philadelphia 76ers home game?
Yearning for their own tradition, the Philadelphia 76ers created a bell-ringing ceremony that has become a lasting ritual
Like any other team in the NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers were searching to create a culture that would last past generations to come.
Philadelphia’s head coach from 2013-2020, Brett Brown, came up with the idea to incorporate the Liberty Bell, which has been emblematic of Philadelphia and a national symbol of American independence since the 18th century, to the team’s tradition.
About the Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell first arrived in Philly in 1752; it was originally rung to alert citizens about public meetings and summon lawmakers to legislative sessions. In 1776, for the reading of the Declaration of, Bells were rung across the city. The Phillies show off a colossal bell at Citizens Bank Park, sounding with each run scored.
The ring, obviously, carried a huge significance for Philly, who decided to incorporate it into their culture. In 2018, the organization introduced the postgame bell-ringing tradition as a way to commemorate wins:
“When you start figuring out how do you want to build a program and what are the cultural pieces that you can implement to sort of show the vibe of the program and even things that could live through the ages,” said Brown. “Scott Rego, my equipment manager, and I started spitballing notions about ways to grow the culture. We started talking about a bell and what would happen if we rung a bell after we win.”
During the pregame ceremonial bell-ringing, announcer Matt Cord used these words to define the new tradition: “The bell is a symbol of the city’s unity and passion.” Those characteristics fit the team’s values, too.”
A model of the bell sturdy enough to withstand repeated celebratory ringing was made that year, and it arrived just in time to kick off the preseason. And the bell ringing became a postgame celebration the players looked forward to each night. It was rung 52 times that season.
The coaches would meet to select the bell ringer following a victory and nominate whoever they deem fit. Sometimes it would be given to the leading scorer, while other times, it would be given to a player returning from injury.
And now, the tradition continues:
“When you look back at a legacy, you look at a culture,” Brown said. “We hope we can leave something behind that can live through the ages.”