Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Part Owners of Philadelphia 76ers

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 12:  Actors Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith attend Game Four of the 2008 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers on June 12, 2008 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

“In West Philadelphia born and raised..."

The Fresh Prince, who uttered those famous words on a weekly basis in America’s living rooms back in the '90s, is finally getting a piece of his team.

After years of promoting the city of Brotherly Love and its NBA team, actor/musician Will Smith and wife Jada now have a minority stake in the Philadelphia 76ers.

Here is the Associated Press with the other members of the new ownership group:

The deal to sell the Sixers to a group led by New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris has been completed. The Sixers will hold a news conference Tuesday to introduce the owners. The sale ends Comcast-Spectacor's 15-year run of ownership.

The group also includes David Blitzer, Art Wrubel, and Jason Levien. Levien is a former NBA player agent and Sacramento Kings executive.

Will Smith, one of the most powerful and influential actors in Hollywood, will now likely play the role that Nets owner Jay-Z is playing: promote the team and make it “cool” to like the 76ers.

The team could really use a jolt of energy and Smith is the perfect spark.

The odd thing in all of this is that Jada Pinkett is involved. There were multiple reports back in August that the couple had separated. Clearly they have ironed out their differences and will now be cheering on the 76ers together.

The 76ers have been dealing with some tough times in the past decade. Since making their improbable run to the 2001 NBA Finals back in Allen Iverson’s prime, the team has won a grand total of one playoff series.

Yet there is hope in Philly after the team surprised most experts by winning 41 games in head coach Doug Collins’ first season at the helm, earning the seventh seed in the playoffs.

Now Smith is on board to help take the franchise to the next level.

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