Targeting the aim with a clever and sharp eye like a Hawk, 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). The franchise was formed in 1946 and their final relocation took place in 1968, when the Hawks moved to Atlanta, Georgia. The franchise was formed in 1946 as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in the Quad Cities area.
The Blackhawks eventually became one of the National Basketball Association’s 17 original teams after a merger in 1949 of the 12-year-old National Basketball League and the four-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, they failed to qualify for the postseason. 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, MO.
The Hawks became one of the league’s top teams as a result of the acquisitions in the draft and free agency. The team advanced to the 1957 NBA Finals, losing to the Boston Celtics in game seven. In 1958, the Hawks again advanced to the NBA Finals and captured their only NBA Championship in game 6 against the Celtics. The Hawks remained one of the NBA’s premier teams for the next decade. In 1960, , the team advanced to the Finals yet again, but lost—again to the Celtics—in yet 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. Thus this victory and loss session brought forward its own implications and the team took it with an open heart.
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 larger St. Louis Arena was not well-maintained since the 1940s, and Kerner wanted a new arena to increase revenue. However, he was rebuffed by the city on several occasions. As a result in 1968, the team was sold to Atlanta real estate developer Tom Cousins and 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. 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. With the new arena, the team was rejuvenated again to face the challenges ahead with renewed enthusiasm.
In 1977 Hubie Brown was hired to become head coach by Ted Turner who just bought the team. Ted Turner also owned Atlanta Braves. In 1979 the Hawks team compiled 50 wins and the title for Central Division. In 1982 the franchise acquired superstar Dominique Wilkins, who was able enough to help Hawks to score 50 plus victories, each time, in next four years. But unfortunately, the team could not advance past the semifinals of the playoffs.
In 1993, Lenny Wilkens was hired as coach. In the 1993- 1994 season coach Wilkens led the team to 57 victories, a team record, and in 1995 Wilkens broke the record (previously held by former Hawk coach Red Auerbach) for most victories by an NBA head coach with victory number 939.
However, lately Hawks team has struggled, and again they are considered as one of the worst team in the league. Some analysts say that this bad performance by Atlanta Hawks in recent years is due to major reshuffle in the management of the team, as it was sold to a group of executives by the name of Atlanta Spirit LLC by Time Warner in year 2004. Time Warner themselves had inherited the franchise and Braves after its merger with Turner Broadcasting in 1996.
Even these changes in ownership could not help the Hawks and they kept on struggling for their performance. In the 2004-2005 season, the Hawks earned the notorious reputation of the league’s worst team with a only 13 victories.
However, hope started emerging for Hawks in 2007, when in third pick of the NBA draft; they selected Al Horford Acie Law IV in 9th draft.
Combination made the team win its first ever season opener against Dallas Mavericks after 1998. This 101–94 win sent plenty of hopes towards Hawks fans. But the pleasant atmosphere didn’t last for long and Hawks organization again went uncertain when the NBA granted the first appeal of a protested game against Miami Heat in 25 years on January 11, 2008. This made their certain victory doubtful.
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