The Atlanta Hawks, founded in the year 1946, are a famous professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They compete in the NBA as one of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division member. The team plays their home games at Philips Arena. Sharecare is currently the official sponsor of the Hawks, and they also become the presenting sponsor of the team's Radio Network.
The history of the club dates back to 1946 with the establishment of Buffalo Bisons founded by Leo Ferris and Ben Kerner, based in Buffalo, New York. The Buffalo Bisons were an active member of the National Basketball League (NBL); they played their games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. Erie County organized the team and was coached by Nat Hickey. The team played their first match on November 8, 1946, and it was a 50-39 victory. The team quickly moved to Moline, Illinois after spending 38 days in Buffalo and they came to known as Tri-Cities Blackhawks. The team joined NBA in 1949 following the merger between the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Basketball Association of America (BAA). Ben Kerner moved the team to Milwaukee in the year 1951 and got the name as Hawks. Again Hawks moved to St. Louis in the year 1955 and managed to win the team’s only NBA championship there in 1958.
The team also managed to play in the NBA Finals in 1957, 1960 and 1961 and on all of those four occasions they played against Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. Ben Kerner sold the St. Louis Hawks team to Carl Sanders (former Georgia Governor) and Thomas Cousins, and they moved to Atlanta and hence got the name Atlanta Hawks. The team now boasts an unwanted record of second-longest drought (57 seasons) of not having to win an NBA championship.
Some of the well-known players of the team include Pete Maravich, Lou Hudson, and Walt Bellamy. In the year 1982, the team got its one of the most famous player in Dominique Wilkins. The Wilkins received wide popularity for his amazing acrobatic slam dunks. He was also known as the "The Human Highlight Film" mainly because of the highlight reel dunks and his athletic ability. Talking about the achievements of the team, first, let's speak about the individual achievements of the players. Bob Pettit won NBA MVP in the year 1956 and then again in the year 1959. He also won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in the year 1955. Lou Hudson won the All-NBA Second Team in the year 1970. As we have already mentioned about one of the prominent players, Wilkins, he won several awards, and some of the important ones are the All-NBA First Team in the year 1986, All-NBA Second Team in the year 1987, 1988, 1991 and 1993. His achievements are not only limited to these, but he also won the All-NBA Third Team in the year 1989. These are some of the very well-known and prominent achievements of the Atlanta Hawks players individually.
Almost everyone knows Boston Celtics – Atlanta Hawks rivalry, and it has lasted for over more than five decades. The two teams are playing one another since 1949-50 season. The two teams played against each other 11 times in NBA playoffs and four times in the NBA finals. However, the Hawks were able to defeat the Boston Celtics only twice amongst all the matches played. The team is having another burning rivalry with the Orlando Magic. The rivalry started from the playoff competitions between Dwight Howard and Josh Smith, both of them were raised in Georgia. The two teams faced each other twice on the ground, once in 2010 and again in 2011. The Orlando Magic defeated the Hawks in the second round of playoffs in 2010; however, the Hawks managed to defeat them by 4-2 in the 2011 playoffs.