Phantom of The Process rings bell prior to Sixers-Heat Game 1

Matt Haughton | NBC Sports Philadelphia
NBC Sports Philadelphia

"Joel, I like your mask," a young fan screamed at Embiid as the All-Star center made his way to the court for a workout ahead of Game 1.

The funny thing is, Embiid wasn't even wearing his mask at the time. 

Maybe that kid had the inside scoop.

Word of the Sixers' ceremonial bell ringer typically leaks out at some point ahead of tipoff. But not on Saturday, and with good reason.

That's because when it came time to ring the bell, a masked figure emerged from the shadows to do the honors.

Just call him the "Phantom of The Process."

Embiid, wearing a Phantom of the Opera-style mask, rang the bell to deafening applause inside the Wells Fargo Center.

Still recovering from surgery to repair a left orbital fracture, Embiid wasn't about to let the Sixers hold their first playoff game in South Philadelphia in six years without making some sort of impact.

After all, he is a man that knows about flair.

"What I do know is the creativity that we've gone through to develop his mask, and I'm sure there's a side of Joel that wants that thing to look good, which I understand comes into it," head coach Brett Brown said before the game.

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