The Sixers' new ownership decided pretty early on that Hip Hop was going to be no more. That was backed up by overwhelmingly negative reaction from fans.

The team announced the move 2 weeks ago, saying it had hired Jim Henson's Creature Shop and Raymond Entertainment Group, founded by Dave Raymond, the former Phillie Phanatic.

The owners wanted to go with a colonial theme, but realized there is not an obvious tie-in with the 76ers name. They also wanted to stress an element of Ben Franklin.

The owners reviewed drawings and have selected three finalists. Voting is under way at

The three finalists are:

* A 7-foot tall rendition of Ben Franklin, named "Big Ben."

* B. Franklin Dogg, the All-American pet, adapted from artist drawings from the day nestled under the table beside Franklin.

* Phil E. Moose, a 7-foot tall adaption of a basketball player; the moose being "one of the most regal animals to roam the wild."

Once a selection is made, Raymond will help bring the winner to life. The new mascot is expected to debut early in the season.