Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks
2011–12 Atlanta Hawks season
Atlanta Hawks logo
Conference Eastern Conference
Division Southeast Division
Founded 1947 (Joined NBA In 1949)
History Buffalo Bisons
Tri-Cities Blackhawks
Milwaukee Hawks
St. Louis Hawks
Atlanta Hawks
Arena Philips Arena
City Atlanta, Georgia
Team colors Navy, Red, Silver, White
Owner(s) Atlanta Spirit, LLC
General manager Rick Sund
Head coach Larry Drew
D-League affiliate Utah Flash
Championships 1 (1958)
Conference titles 4 (Western: (4) 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961)
Division titles 3 (1980, 1987, 1994)
Official website
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours

The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are part of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA).


Franchise history

The first years

Original Tri-Cities Blackhawks logo

The franchise was formed in 1946 as the National Basketball League's Buffalo Bisons, playing at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, New York, and featuring guard/forward and coach Deanglo King. However, on December 27, 1946—only 13 games into their inaugural season—owner Ben Kerner moved the team to Moline, Illinois, which at that time was part of an area known as the "Tri-Cities"[1] (now the Quad Cities). Kerner renamed the team the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in reference to the Black Hawk War that was mostly fought in Illinois. The Blackhawks became one of the National Basketball Association's 17 original teams after a merger in 1949 of the 12-year-old NBL and the three-year-old Basketball Association of America. The Blackhawks reached the playoffs in the NBA's inaugural year, under the leadership of coach Red Auerbach. However, the following season, after the team drafted Bob Cousy and made the blunder of trading his rights to the Chicago Stags (who would later surrender him in a dispersal draft to the Boston Celtics after they folded), they failed to qualify for the postseason. In 1951, the franchise relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and became the Milwaukee Hawks. In 1953, the Hawks drafted Bob Pettit, a future NBA MVP. Despite this, the Hawks were one of the league's worst teams, and in 1955 the Hawks moved yet again, this time to St. Louis, Missouri, Milwaukee's rival in the beer industry, and became the St. Louis Hawks.

In 1957, the team advanced to the Finals, losing to the Boston Celtics in a double-overtime thriller in game seven. In 1958, the Hawks again advanced to the NBA Finals where they avenged their previous year's defeat against the Boston Celtics, winning the series 4–2. Bob Pettit scored 50 points in Game 6 in front of a crowd of 10,218 in St. Louis. The victory gave the Hawks their first and only NBA Championship.

The Hawks remained one of the NBA's premier teams for the next decade. In 1960, under coach Ed Macauley, the team advanced to the Finals, but lost to the Celtics in another game seven thriller. The following year, with the acquisition of rookie Lenny Wilkens, the Hawks repeated their success, but met the Celtics in the Finals again and lost in five games. The next few years the Hawks remained contenders, every year advancing deep into the playoffs and also capturing several division titles. Despite the success, Kerner became wary of the now-aging 10,000-seat Kiel Auditorium. The Hawks occasionally played at the St. Louis Arena (mostly against popular opponents), but Kerner was not willing to move the team there full-time because it had not been well-maintained since the 1940s. Kerner wanted a new arena to increase revenue. However, he was rebuffed by the city on several occasions.

Relocation to Atlanta

Logo 1970–1972

In 1968, the team was sold to Atlanta real estate developer Tom Cousins and former Georgia governor Carl Sanders and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. While a new arena was being constructed, the team spent its first four seasons playing in Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Winning their first Division title in the 1969–70 season with a 48–34 record in the Western Division. Cousins' firm soon developed the Omni Coliseum, a 16,500-seat, state-of-the-art downtown Atlanta arena, for the Hawks and the expansion Atlanta Flames hockey franchise, which opened in 1972 as the first phase of a massive sports, office, hotel and retail complex, most of which is now the CNN Center.

The years after the move showcased a talented Hawks team, including Pete Maravich, and Lou Hudson. However, after this period of success, the Hawks experienced years of rebuilding. The rebuilding process appeared to be the right direction when they ended up with the 1st and 3rd picks overall in the 1975 NBA Draft. However, it took a turn for the worse when draft picks David Thompson and Marvin Webster both signed on with ABA franchises.

Ted Turner's Ownership

Cable network entrepreneur and Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner bought the team in 1977 and hired Hubie Brown to become head coach. The Hawks were the only NBA team in the Southeastern United States, just as the Atlanta Braves were the only Major League Baseball team in the region for many years to come. Turner's ownership was instrumental in keeping both teams in the region. Coach Brown won coach of the year in 1978. In the 1979–80 season, the Hawks finished with 50 wins, 32 losses, and won the Central Division. It was their first division title in the Central Division and second in the city of Atlanta. In 1982, the franchise acquired superstar Dominique Wilkins and promoted Mike Fratello to head coach a year later. Due to sagging attendance, 12 home games during the 1984–85 season were played at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was also around this time that Dominique Wilkins would win the Slam Dunk Contest in 1985 and 1990 having an amazing rivalry with Michael Jordan.Spud Webb won the Slam Dunk Contest in 1986. Mike Fratello won coach of the year in 1986 as well.[2] The New Orleans games were paid for by Barry Mendelson for $1.2 million with the Hawks going 6–6 in Louisiana.[2]

"Pac-Man" Hawks logo (1972–1995)

From 1985–89, the Hawks were among the league's elite, winning 50 games or more each season. Winning a third division title in 1986–87 season with a franchise record 57–25 and their second in the Central Division. However, the team could not advance past the semifinals of the Eastern Conference playoffs, losing to eventual Eastern conference and/or NBA champions in Boston and Detroit. After several seasons of mediocrity, Lenny Wilkens was hired as head coach in 1993. In the 1993–94 season, coach Wilkens led the team to 57 victories, tying a team record and won a fourth division title in Atlanta, third in the Central Division and won coach of the year. However, the team fell short again in the playoffs, losing to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern semis in six games. The season was also marred with the trading of Dominique Wilkins, who remains the franchise all-time leading scorer, for Danny Manning, who quickly left via free agency to Phoenix after the season ended. In 1995, coach Wilkens broke the record (previously held by coach Red Auerbach) for most victories by an NBA head coach with victory number 939. The Hawks had two 50+ win seasons in 1997 and 1998, with center, Dikembe Mutombo winning defensive player of the year award back to back in 1997–98, forward Alan Henderson won most improved player award, as well as a 31-win campaign in the lockout-shortened 1999 season, but the Hawks never advanced past the second round of the playoffs.

Hawks logo from 1995 to 2007.

In 1999, the Hawks traded Steve Smith to Portland for Isaiah Rider and Jim Jackson. Smith had been one of the Hawks' most popular players during the 1990s and had recently been awarded the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his charitable endeavors. By contrast, Rider had a history of behavioral problems both on and off the court. Rider's troubled conduct continued after his arrival in Atlanta. Rider missed the first day of training camp and was late for two games. After reports that he smoked marijuana in an Orlando hotel room during a January road trip, the league demanded that he attend drug counseling, and fined him a total of $200,000 until he agreed to go. When he showed up late for a March game, the Hawks released him.[3] The Hawks later traded Jackson away the following season. The Smith/Rider trade sent the Hawks into a downward spiral; they would not return to the playoffs for nine years.

In 2001, the Hawks drafted Spanish star Pau Gasol 3rd , but his rights were ceded to the Memphis Grizzlies in a trade involving Shareef Abdur-Rahim. In February 2004, the Hawks had the distinction of having NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace play one game for the team. Wallace was traded from Portland to the Hawks along with Wesley Person for Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Theo Ratliff, and Dan Dickau.[4] In his lone game for the Hawks, Wallace scored 20 points, had 6 rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 assists and a steal in a loss to the New Jersey Nets.[5] After the game he was dealt to the Detroit Pistons in a three-way trade with the Boston Celtics. In turn, Detroit sent guard Bobby Sura, center Zeljko Rebraca, and a first-round draft pick to the Hawks. The Boston Celtics also sent forward Chris Mills to Atlanta to complete the deal.[6] In 2003, Atlanta hosted the allstar game, the last an east team would host for nine years.

Atlanta Spirit LLC's ownership/Joe Johnson - Josh Smith era 2005–present

In March 2004, the team was sold to a group of executives by the name of Atlanta Spirit LLC[7] by Time Warner (who inherited the Hawks and Braves upon its merger with Turner Broadcasting in 1996), along with the Atlanta Thrashers pro ice hockey team, with which the Hawks share the Philips Arena, which replaced the Omni. After the change in ownership the Hawks still struggled. In the 2004–05 season, the Hawks were the league's worst team with a mere 13 victories (five less than even the expansion Charlotte Bobcats and the struggling New Orleans Hornets). It was also the year Josh Smith won the 2005 Slam Dunk Contest. Despite their league-worst record, the Hawks only landed the number two pick in the 2005 NBA Draft (the first pick went to the Milwaukee Bucks). With the second pick, the Hawks selected Marvin Williams of the University of North Carolina. The previous year, the Hawks had drafted Josh Childress and Josh Smith. In the 2006 Draft, the Hawks selected former Duke star Shelden Williams with the fifth overall pick.

In the summer of 2005, the Hawks completed a sign and trade deal with the Phoenix Suns to acquire Joe Johnson in return for Boris Diaw and two future 1st round picks. They also signed Zaza Pachulia from the Milwaukee Bucks. These changes occurred after an apparent power struggle between the owners for nearly three weeks before the moves were made.[8]

Signs of Hope

Hawks current alternate logo

Hope and redemption appeared to be on the horizon for the Hawks beginning in 2007. With the third pick of the NBA draft, they select Al Horford from the University of Florida. Horford nearly averaged a double-double during his rookie season, and is the only unanimous selection to the All-Rookie First Team as well as being runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors. The season started brightly as they won the season opener against the Dallas Mavericks 101–94, sending hope to Hawks fans. The last time they won a season opener was in 1998, also the last time the franchise made the playoffs. For the 2007–08 season, the Atlanta Hawks updated the colors and uniforms to navy blue, red, and white, marking the first time since their days in St. Louis that they had used those colors.

A midseason trade for point guard Mike Bibby boosted the Hawks' playoff hopes. At the time of the trade the Hawks were 22–28, afterwards they won 15 of their last 32 games to finish with a 37–45 record. Although they still finished with a losing record, they managed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999. It was in the playoffs where the Hawks started to show improvement, pushing the eventual NBA champions Boston Celtics to a Game 7 before losing in a blowout back in Boston. The Hawks won all three games at Philips Arena, which hosted its first playoff games and earned its first sellout.


The 2008–09 season saw the Hawks win 47 games, their first winning season since 1999. With almost an intact lineup from the previous year the Hawks manage to take a step forward in their development. Again they were pushed to a Game 7 in the first round but they capitalized on home-court advantage in earning their first playoff series win since 1999 against the Miami Heat. The Hawks were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers 4–0 in the conference semifinals.

The 2009–10 season saw the Hawks improve further, winning 53 games, their first 50-win season since 1997. Al Horford earned his first All-Star selection, and along with Joe Johnson, this marked the first time since 1998 that the Hawks sent two players to the All-Star Game. The playoffs, however, were a reprise from the previous year. They won a hard-fought seven-game series against the Milwaukee Bucks, but they were swept by the Orlando Magic in the second round, with every game a one-sided contest. After the season, the Hawks dismissed head coach Mike Woodson and was replaced by Larry Drew.

The Hawks took a step back in the 2010–11 season, finishing with 44 wins, even though Horford and Johnson were named to the All-Star team. In midseason the Hawks traded Mike Bibby to the Washington Wizards for Kirk Hinrich, in hopes of bringing a defensive guard to replace the defensively liable Bibby. Worse, the Hawks finished the season losing their final six games. However in the playoffs the Hawks once again took flight, exacting revenge against the Magic in a six-game series. However, they subsequently lost to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in six games. The Bulls went on to the Eastern Conference Finals

The Hawks currently own the 2nd longest run (behind the Sacramento Kings) of not winning an NBA title (54 years). All of the franchise's NBA Finals appearances and lone NBA championship took place when the team resided in St. Louis. Meanwhile, they have yet to advance beyond the second round of any playoff format in their entire Atlanta existence, which now spans 44 seasons. Much of the failures they've experienced in the postseason could be traced back to their poor history in the NBA Draft. Since 1980, the Hawks have drafted a grand total of three players who have ever been chosen to play in an All-Star game (Doc Rivers, Kevin Willis, and Al Horford; Wilkins was actually selected by the Utah Jazz and traded to the Hawks a few months after the draft). In fact, Horford is the only Hawk to have played in an All-Star game since Willis was selected in 1984, and is also the only first-rounder the Hawks selected in their nine-year playoff drought to play in an All-Star game.

In August 2011, it was announced than California-based businessman Alex Meruelo was buying a majority stake of the Hawks. The sale depends on the approval of the league.[9][10]

Season-by-season records

Home arenas


Hawks Basketball Hall of Famers

Hagan, Pettit, Macauley, Lenny Wilkens, and Bob Ferry, all of whom played for the Hawks in St. Louis, have been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

Hawks Retired Numbers

Current roster

Atlanta Hawks rosterv · d · e
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight DOB (Y–M–D) From
C 34 Collins, Jason (FA) 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 255 lb (116 kg) 1978–12–02 Stanford
G 11 Crawford, Jamal (FA) 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1980–03–20 Michigan
G 6 Hinrich, Kirk Injured 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1981–01–02 Kansas
F/C 15 Horford, Al (C) 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 245 lb (111 kg) 1986–06–03 Florida
G 2 Johnson, Joe (C) 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 240 lb (109 kg) 1981–06–29 Arkansas
C 27 Pachulia, Zaza 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 275 lb (125 kg) 1984–02–10 Georgia (country)
F 12 Powell, Josh (FA) 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) 1983–01–25 North Carolina State
F 25 Rolle, Magnum 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1986–02–23 Louisiana Tech
F 5 Smith, Josh (C) 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) 1985–12–05 Oak Hill Academy (VA)
G 0 Teague, Jeff 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1988–06–10 Wake Forest
C 36 Thomas, Etan (FA) 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 260 lb (118 kg) 1978–04–01 Syracuse
G/F 3 Wilkins, Damien (FA) 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1980–01–11 Georgia
F 24 Williams, Marvin 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) 1986–06–19 North Carolina
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Athletic trainer(s)
  • United States Wally Blase (Winona State*)
Strength and conditioning coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured
  • * High school

Last transaction: 2011-08-26

International rights

G/F France Alain Digbeu 1997 NBA Draft 49th pick
G/F Turkey Cenk Akyol 2005 NBA Draft 59th pick
G Ukraine Sergiy Gladyr 2009 NBA Draft 49th pick


Individual awards

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

NBA All-Defensive First Team

NBA All-Defensive Second Team

NBA Rookie First Team

NBA Rookie Second Team

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • Atlanta Hawks — Conferencia Conferencia Este División División Sureste Fundado 1946 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Atlanta Hawks — Hawks d Atlanta Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hawks. Hawks d Atlanta …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Atlanta Hawks — Gründung 1946 Geschichte Buffalo Bisons 1946 Tri Cities Blackhawks 1946–1951 Milwaukee Hawks 1951–1955 St. Louis Hawks 1955–1968 Atlanta H …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Atlanta Hawks — ▪ American basketball team  American professional basketball team based in Atlanta. The Hawks were one of the original franchises of the National Basketball Association (NBA) when the league was established in 1949. The team won its only NBA… …   Universalium

  • Atlanta Hawks — …   Википедия

  • Atlanta Hawks — basketball team which is a member of the National Basketball Association …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Atlanta Hawks seasons — This is a list of seasons completed by the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association. !colspan= 6 |Tri Cities Blackhawks (NBL) Record not included in totals 1946 47||19 ||25 ||.432 || | 1947 48||30 ||30 || .500||Won first round Lost… …   Wikipedia

  • Atlanta Hawks all-time roster — The following is a list of players, both past and current, who appeared at least in one game for the Atlanta Hawks NBA franchise. NOTOC A* Shareef Abdur Rahim * Don Adams * Derrick Alston * Greg “Cadillac” Anderson * Kenny Anderson * Stacey… …   Wikipedia

  • Entrenadores de Atlanta Hawks — Anexo:Entrenadores de Atlanta Hawks Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Mike Woodson es el entrenador de los Hawks desde 2004. En la historia de Atlanta Hawks han habido 26 entrenadores. Los Hawks son un equipo de baloncesto de la NBA con sede en la… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Anexo:Entrenadores de Atlanta Hawks — Mike Woodson fue el entrenador de los Hawks desde 2004 hasta 2010. En la historia de Atlanta Hawks han habido 27 entrenadores. Los Hawks son un equipo de baloncesto de la NBA con sede en la ciudad de Atlanta, Georgia.[ …   Wikipedia Español

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