The Atlanta Hawks belongs to the National Basketball Association (NBA) Eastern Conference Division and plays its home games at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. As one of the original franchises in the league, the team was established in the NBA in 1949.
The Journey of The Atlanta Hawks
Its origins, however, can be traced back to the year 1946, when the team was still named the Buffalo Bison for the National Basketball League (NBL). But less than two months after its formation, team owners Leo Farris and Ben Kerner announced that the Bisons will be known as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, also for the NBL. Consisting of Illinois cities, Moline and Rock Island, and an Iowa city called Davenport, the team played the league for three years until the NBL merged with the Basketball Association of America (BAA) to become the NBA in 1949.
The Blackhawks was one of the 17 original teams in the NBA and reached the playoffs in that first year. But its owners realized that the Tri-Cities was quite a small team for such a big league and so in 1951, Kerner transferred the Blackhawks team to Milwaukee and changed their name to Hawks.
Bob Pettit, an NBA MVP, led the Hawks during this decade, alongside Bill Russell, Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley. Their effort made the Hawks one of the premiere teams of the NBA then.
Years later, Kerner once again moved the team to St. Louis, where the Hawks won its first NBA title. This was in 1958.
In 1968, the St. Louis Hawks moved to Atlanta for good and Kerner sold his stake on the team to Thomas Cousins and Georgia’s Governor Carl Sanders.
Other early notable players for the Atlanta Hawks included Walt Bellamy, Lou Hudson and Pete Maravich. But in 1982, the Hawks signed on a rookie who would become its most popular basketball star, Dominique Wilkins.
Wilkins, nicknamed the “Human Highlight Film,” pushed the Hawks to victory in the 1980s. During this time, Ted Turner of Turner Broadcasting Corp. owned the team until 2014, when Atlanta Spirit, LLC took over.
But while Wilkins’ accomplishments made him one of the most lauded scorers in NBA history, the Hawks itself did not win any playoffs under his leadership. The and also had another notable player during this decade in Dikembe Mutombo.
During the 2007-2008 season, the Hawks played the Celtics for seven games in the Eastern Conference. Though they did not advance to the finals, the Hawks remained one of the strongest teams in the NBA. Younger players led this decade this time, such as Mike Bibby, Tracy McGrady and Jerry Stackhouse.
In the 2014-2015 season, the Hawks achieved a record-breaking 60 winning games to advance to the finals of the Eastern Conference, where they would faceoff with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Hawks lost but it was the first time the team achieved a noteworthy feat since moving to Georgia several decades ago. For more info on making really nice garments with your own logo, be sure to consider us for custom t shirts Atlanta.
At present, Tony Ressler owns the Atlanta Hawks with Lloyd Pierce as the head coach.