The ringing of the bell before tip-off has become a signature moment at Sixers home games. Many different Philadelphia icons have had the honor to take part in the pregame festivities. 

For most of the season, it was the players themselves who did the bell ringing. But since restrictions have loosened to an extent, the team has been able to bring back some familiar faces. 

Pat Croce returned to Philadelphia Wednesday night and rang the bell before Game 2 against the Wizards. He became the team's president in 1996 and stepped down after the 2001 season. 

This Sixers team has multiple connections with that iconic 2001 team, so it is fitting to have someone from that era return home. Along with ringing the bell, Croce also spoke to the media pregame. 

When asked for his thoughts about any similarities between the current team and the 2001 team, he could only think of one. "The sun that all the stars circulate around," said Croce Wednesday. 

"[Allen Iverson], Joel Embiid, a foot difference, but that talent is second to none. Pound for pound, size for size, I think that would be the only similarity," Croce said. 

While they differ in stature, there are some comparisons between the two. Both have overcome immense odds on their rise to NBA stardom, and Embiid leaves it all on the floor for this team the same way Iverson did during his tenure. 

Iverson hoisted the MVP trophy during that iconic run for the Sixers in 2001. Fast forward 20 years later, and the Sixers find themselves with a player in the MVP race again. 

Being compared to the six-foot guard from Georgetown is high praise in Philadelphia. If Embiid can keep on his current path, he is sure to cement his name next to Iverson's and all the other legends who have donned the Sixers' uniform.  

Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.