Atlanta Hawks

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The Atlanta Hawks are stationed in Atlanta. Established in 1949, the NBA counts the Hawks as one of its original franchises. The crowning achievement for the team came in 1958 when they seized their lone championship. The Tri-Cities Blackhawks, founded in 1946 across Moline and Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa, were the precursor to the Hawks. Their initial three seasons were played in the National Basketball League before the NBA was formed. By the 1951-52 season, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, became their new home, and the name was abbreviated to “Hawks.”


Hall of Famers and the Championship Quest

The Hawks’ journey to the top began when they picked the future Hall of Famer Bob Pettit in the 1954 NBA draft. Relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, by 1955, the Hawks soon reached the NBA finals in the 1956-57 season. A close loss to the Boston Celtics awaited them. Redemption came the following season as the Hawks claimed their only championship title, besting the Celtics. While they made consistent playoff appearances over the next 15 years, the finals remained elusive.


Atlanta: A New Chapter

1968 saw the Hawks taking flight to Atlanta, courtesy of a sale to a Georgia-based group. Icons like Pete Maravich, Walt Bellamy, and Lou Hudson donned the Atlanta jersey during the initial years. But Dominique Wilkins, acquired in 1982, would leave an indelible mark on the franchise. Known for his soaring dunks, Wilkins ushered in an era of success, although deep playoff runs remained a challenge. By the 1999-2000 season, the Hawks experienced a significant playoff drought. They made a comeback in the 2007-08 season, impressively challenging the eventual champions, the Celtics. The playoffs became a routine for the Hawks throughout the next decade, but advancing past the second round proved tough.


The 21st Century Resurgence

The 2014-15 season witnessed the Hawks soar to new heights. A record 60 wins were achieved, and they made it to the Eastern Conference finals. But the Cleveland Cavaliers halted their flight. The subsequent season mirrored the team’s historic pattern of second-round exits. Key player departures followed, culminating in a disappointing 2017-18 performance.


Rebuilding and Recent Developments

The 2018 chapter for the Hawks began with the hiring of Lloyd Pierce as head coach. Significant moves in the 2018 NBA draft were made, including a notable trade involving Luka Dončić and Trae Young. The team also picked Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman in the same draft. This phase of restructuring echoed the successful rebuilding strategy seen in Golden State. Jeremy Lin was added to the roster in July 2018, while Dennis Schröder was traded. The notable acquisition of Carmelo Anthony resulted in a swift buyout. Other signings, including Vince Carter and Alex Len, were also finalized. Lin’s tenure with the Hawks was short, leading to his move to the Toronto Raptors in 2019.


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