The Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are a professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia who compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member team of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division and play their home games at Philips Arena.
The Hawks started life as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in 1946 and five years later, in 1951, moved to Milwaukee, where they changed their name to the Hawks. There was a further move to St. Louis in 1955, where three years later they won their only NBA championship. A final move to Atlanta took place in 1968.
Since 1955 the Hawks have the unfortunate distinction of the second-longest drought (behind the Sacramento Kings) having chalked up 57 seasons without a NBA championship to their credit. The franchise's lone NBA championship, as well as all four NBA Finals appearances, occurred when the team was based in St. Louis. The title brought the Hawks up against the formidable Bolton Celtics who they saw off in a six match series. Meanwhile, they went 48 years without advancing past the second round of the playoffs in any format, until finally breaking through in 2015.
Dominique Wilkins is the Atlanta Hawks' all-time leading scorer who has been nicknamed the “Human Highlight Film,” for his amazing athletic prowess and showmanship. In a Hawks’ uniform, Wilkins averaged 26.4 points per game in 12 years. His highest scoring season came in 1986 as he poured in a league-leading 30.3 points per game. Dominique Wilkins was a nine-time All-Star, a slam dunk champion and the greatest scorer in Atlanta Hawks history.
Bob Pettit spent his entire career with the Hawks while they were still playing in Milwaukee and then St. Louis. He was a two-time NBA MVP and remains one of the game’s best rate scorers to ever play. Bob Pettit posted a career scoring average of 26.4 points per game, currently the seventh highest career average in NBA history. He carried the Hawks to their 1958 NBA Championship.
Lou Hudson was a great scorer for the Atlanta Hawks franchise from 1966 to 1977. Hudson posted scoring averages over 25 points per game in three seasons with Atlanta, boasting an 11-year average of 22 per game as a Hawk. “Sweet Lou” had a shooting touch that was ahead of his time and he regularly found himself ranking among the league leaders in field goal percentage.
Small forward Cliff Hagan was a six-time NBA All-Star, a forerunner of the hook shot, and one of the Atlanta Hawks' all-time leading scorers. Hagan averaged 18 points per game in 11 full seasons with the franchise from 1956 to 1966. In Hagan’s breakout second season, he averaged a double-double with 20 points per game as the Hawks won their only championship in their 61-year history.
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