Tri-Cities BlackHawks 46-51

Milwaukee Hawks 51-55

St Louis Hawks 55-61

St Louis/Atlanta Hawks 61-70

Atlanta Hawks 70-73





Player info
Award Winners
Retired Numbers
Team info
Draft picks


Quick facts:

Founded:                          1946(Buffalo Bison)              
Arena:                            Phillips Arena
Also Known As:                    Buffalo Bisons
                                  Tri-Cities Blackhawks
                                  Milwaukee Hawks
                                  St. Louis Hawks
Division titles:                  11
Western Division titles:          8 (48,57,58,59,60,61,68,70) 
Central Division Titles:          3(80,87,94)
Southwest Division Titles:        1 (15)
Western Division Chamipionships:  4 (57,58,60,61) 
Eastern Conferance Championships: none 
NBA Title:                        1(1957-58) St. Louis

How the Hawks got their name:
Originally the Hawks were the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, a team that was founded in the Midwest. Tri-Cities is located in the Midwest, in lands which once belonged to the Kickapoo, Sauk, and Fox Native American tribes. The three tribes fought a long war against the United Stated called the Blackhawk war after their chief Blackhawk.
When the Hawks moved to Milwaukee the name was shortened to just Hawks. The name Hawks was previously used by the Waterloo Hawks of the NBL and NBA but the two franchises are not related.

The First NBA game:
Most fans think that the first ever NBA game was played in Toronto between the New York Knicks and Toronto Huskies, but that would be incorrect. That game was the first BAA game ever played. The first NBA game occurred in Molina, Illinois on November 2, 1949, that is because the BAA merged with the NBL in 1949 to create the NBA. The BAA kept it's history and dropped the NBL's history and that is where the confusion rises from.

The Hawks, than the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, played the Denver Nuggets in the first true NBA game following the merger. The Hawks won 93-85 behind Billy Hassett's 15 points. The game attracted only 3,450 fans.

Almost History:
The Hawks have a history of almost being great, but have always somehow come up short. In the late 1950s and early 1960s the Hawks had arguably the best player in the league in Bob Pettit, yet somehow almost always seemed to come up short in the playoffs. 1958 did see Pettit and the Hawks win the franchises only NBA title, however the team made the finals 4 times during that era and have not been back since.

The Hawks were loaded with talent the late 60s and into the 1970s with stars like Zelmo Beaty, Lou Hudson and Pete Maravich, yet usually finished around .500, but would make the playoffs only to get bounced by the Celtics.

In the 1980s behind Dominique Wilkins the Hawks were one of the most dynamic teams in the NBA, but again never got anywhere.

The Hawks have also tried to lure talented players to their roster only to let them slip through their fingers at the last moment. The Hawks drafted Bill Russell, but because of the race issues in Missouri, Russell wanted out and was traded to the Boston Celtics. The Hawks signed Julius Erving only for the NBA to void the contract and take away a draft pick.

Bane of Their Existence
There is one thing that can be traced to the suffering of the Hawks franchise; that being the Boston Celtics. Every time the Hawks have a championship caliber team the Celtics seem to have a better one.

The Hawks and the Celtics have met 13 times in the NBA playoffs, the Celtics have won 11 of those matches. The only series wins for the Hawks against the Celtics came in 1958 and 2016. The 1958 win was in the NBA finals and markes the Hawks lone NBA title, while the 2016 series saw a young and up-and-coming Hawks team vs an even younger Celtics team. The Hawks won the series in 6 games and were quickly swept by the Lebron James Cavaliers.

Largest Crowd ever:
On March 27, 1998, in a game vs the Chicago Bulls, 62,046 fans packed into the Georgia Dome to see the Hawks and Bulls play. At the time it was the largest crowed ever to see an NBA basketball game. The record has since been surpassed but at the time it was a feat.

Both the Hawks and Bulls came into the game as two of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. But most fans came to see Michael Jordan and MJ did not dissapoint. Jordan scored 34 points to lead the Bulls to a 89-74 victory over the Hawks.

Conference Finals Curse:
In 1970 the Hawks were swept by the Los Angeles Lakers in the division finals. The following season the NBA changed from Eastern and Western Divisions to Eastern and Western Conferences, which they still have to this day. The Hawks were regular visitors to the Division finals appearing in 1956-61, 1963-64, 1966-67, and 1969-70, so it was a good bet that the franchise would appear in the newly created Conference Finals, but then one of the strangest streaks in NBA history happened. The Hawks, despite making the playoffs most season, never could get out of the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs.

The Hawks playoff futility lasted nearly half a century until they finally made the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2021 season.

The 2021 Eastern Conference Finals appearance is one of the oddest runs in NBA history. The Hawks were coming off a 20 win season where they had looked terrible, only to double their wins in 2021 and make the playoffs as a 5 seed and Southwest division champion.

The Hawks series vs the Knicks was supposed to see the heavily favored Knicks make light work of the Hawks, but Trae Young had a spectacular game won hitting a game winner and making enemies out Madison Square Garden forever. The Hawks returned to Atlanta with the series tied at 1-1 and proceeded to win both games fairly easily. The Hawks than won game 5 in front of an ever hostile Garden crowed who threw objects and Young and the Hawks.

Entering the second round the Hawks were even bigger underdogs vs the #1 seeded 76ers than they were vs the Knicks. But Young once again put on an epic playoff performance and lead the Hawks to a game 1 victory. The Sixers eventually went up 2-1 and it looked like the same old Hawks again, but Young powered the Hawks toa game 5 victory at Philadelphia to give the Hawks a 3-2 series lead. The Sixers countered with a game 6 win in Atlanta to set up a winner take all game 7.

The Hawks history in game 7's has been miserable, so it was to be expected for the Hawks to lose, but Young once again put on a performance and some costly turnover and missed shots by Ben Simmons allowed the Hawks to break a 51 year curse and finally make the ECF.

The Hawks took on the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals and Young looked like he may lead the Hawks to glory not seen since the 1950s as the Hawks stunned the Bucks in Game 1. The Bucks regained their composure and won games 2 and 3 before the Hawks tied it up at 2-2 in Game 4. But the Bucks were simply too much for the upstar Hawks and took the next two games enroute to their second ever NBA title.

The Hawks magic of the 2021 season faded pretty quickly. The following seasons the Hawks struggled and made early 1st round exits.

Fort Wayne @ Milwaukee 1956

Bob Wilson while with the Milwaukee Hawks in 51-52

Ed MaCauley

Clyde Lovellette vs the Boston Celtics

The Worst Draft in NBA history: 1952

When discussing the worst NBA draft classes in NBA history, two classes often get brought up: The 1986 NBA draft and the 2000 NBA draft. Both drafts, while disastrous, did produce multiple NBA all-stars. However, only one draft class has failed to produce multiple NBA all-stars and that is the draft of 1952: The worst draft in NBA history.

1952 was just the beginning of NBA history and drafts until the 1990s were truly crap-shoots as few if any of the teams had video or scouting on the majority of the players they drafted. The 1952 draft class was just the sixth draft in NBA history, but teams had begun getting use to the process and some of the preceding and succeeding drafts provided the league with some of the all-time greats.

Excluding the two most recent draft classes of 2019 and 2020, every other draft in NBA history has produced at least 3 all-stars except for 1951 and 1952. Even the dreaded 2000 draft was able to give the league three all-stars in Michael Redd, Kenyon Martin and Jamal Magloire. While the 1951 draft only produced two all-stars in Mel Hutchins and Don Sunderledge, it was able to produce several solid role players who played multiple seasons in the NBA such as Whitey Skogg, Lew Hitch, Al McGuire and George Dempsey. The 1952 draft was not even able to do that.

Complete Article
The Smallest City to ever Host an NBA Game

The City of Negaunee, Michigan, is known as a mining town in the Upper Peninsula, that has turned into winter sports hub with one of the best luge tracks west of the Mississippi River. With a population of just 4,500 people, it seems to be an unlikely place to find an NBA game. But on January 16, 1952, that is exactly what happened. Negaunee, Michigan, became the smallest city to ever host a regular NBA season game.

Of the four major North American professional sports leagues the NBA has always had a reputation for having some of the smallest markets. Seven NBA markets do not have a corresponding NFL, MLB or NHL team. The BAA's merger with the NBL also added several cities like Waterloo, Iowa; Anderson, Indiana; Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and Moline, Illinois to the ranks of small towns home to an NBA team. But by 1952 the NBA had done away with much of the smaller markets in the league. In the 1951-52 season the NBA was struggling. The league had shrank for the 18 teams it had just 2 seasons prior to just 10 teams for that season. Several of the teams that entered the season were on shaky ground. The Western Division was rife with trouble, all 5 teams had serious financial issues and rumors were rampant about their possible relocation. This relocation talk is what spurred the NBA to look into new markets and other ways to attracted new fans.

Complete Article
John Barber the man who scored 188 points in a basketball game

Basketball fans are well versed in two of the most legendary games in NBA history: Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point game vs the Knicks and Kobe Bryant's 81 point game vs the Raptors. Both games are legendary, but in the grand spectrum of high scoring games both come up short. in fact, Bryant's 81 point game does not even crack the top 25 of highest scoring games, all 25 games are games where a player scored over 100 points, and Chamberlain's game comes in near the bottom.

On February 16, 1953 the granddaddy of all super scoring games occurred when Los Angeles State took on Chapman Community College. Barber scored an astronomical 188 points, as the result of an "experiment" concocted by his coach, Sax Elliot, to debunk the notion of "Bevo" Francis as a "Superman" of the courts. Rio Grande's Clearence "Bevo" Francis was a scoring machine and was attracting a lot of national attention. He scored 116 points earlier in the season against Ashland Junior College and was averaging over 50 points a game. Los Angeles States John Barber was a scoring machine himself having already dropped 103 against Los Angeles Community College.

Complete Article
Leo Ferris: The man who saved the NBA

The early days of basketball often seen slow fan-unfriendly low scoring matches that often left spectators bored. Games often only got into the 40s and many of the best players averaged less than 15 points a game. Many early basketball games looked more like a glorified version of the childrens game of keep-away than an action packed professional sport. This style of play culminated in a game between Minneapolis and Fort Wayne, where the Pistons of Fort Wayne held the ball most of the second half nursing a 1 point lead over the Lakers. The Pistons would win 19-18 in the lowest scoring game in NBA history. Prior to that the fewest points ever score 33 points, just 4 fewer than both teams scored, and that game was one the opening night of the NBA, or BAA as it was called back then.

This place pace bored fans, many of whom where promised an action packed fun experience and attendance and interest in the new league had begun to dip. The NBA needed a solution and needed it fast. The solution was an ingenious one and one that would revolutionize the game as we know it. A simple clock, with just 24 seconds on it would forever change the game.

The clock was the brain child of Syracuse Nationals general manager Leo Ferris, a man that the NBA has long forgotten in one of the biggest travesties in the games history. Ferris, is as important to the early days of the NBA as anyone and one could argue that without Ferris there would be no NBA today; and there definitely would be no Atlanta Hawks, or Philadelphia 76ers. The NBA would look much different today without Ferris's input all those years ago.

Complete Article

Hawks-Bulls scoreathon game

NBA history is often seen as something that happened many years ago, and we often overlook events that are happening right before our eyes and miss new history. This is likely something that happened when the Hawks and Bulls went into an epic four over-time scoring thrill-fest.

Both the Hawks and Bulls are having abysmal seasons, but both are loaded with young talent and that was on display this Friday night in March of 2019. Both teams are still unsure of exactly what it is that they have on their rosters so letting their young guns go and play is not only good for the development of the franchise, but its good for the fans as well.

The Bulls beat the Hawks 168-161 in the fourth highest scoring game in NBA history, and the highest scoring game of the 21st century

Complete Article

Joe Caldwell vs the San Diego Rockets.

For a brief period in 1972 Julius Erving played for the Hawks. He never appeared in a regular season game but did play in the pre-season.

  • The Teams: Hawks
    Jason Collier
    Pete Maravich
    Hawks History