The Atlanta Hawks are one of the oldest NBA franchises with roots in the National Basketball League (NBL). Throughout its history, star players like Bob Pettit and Dominique Wilkins have led the Atlanta Hawks’ team stats. As of 2022, the Hawks have the second-longest NBA Championship drought.
But despite the drought, the Hawks have consistently produced competitive teams. Most recently, the Hawks are a playoff contender and are a good bet on the NBA odds board. Young stars like Trae Young have made the Hawks a formidable franchise again.
Team Ranked Stats
Atlanta Hawks All Time Records
Dominique Wilkins, 23,292
Atlanta Hawks Stats & Team History
The franchise began as the Buffalo Braves in 1946. They lasted just one season in the city and were relocated to Moline and became the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. In 1949, this franchise became one of the NBA’s 17 founding teams after merging with the NBL. The team moved again, this time to Milwaukee in 1951.
In 1954, the team drafted Pettit who would go on to win the Rookie of the Year Award along with the MVP the following season. Again, the team relocated to St. Louis and in 1958, captured the NBA Championship. With Pettit, the Hawks were a perennial powerhouse. And after he retired, the team stayed competitive.
Finally, the Hawks relocated for the final time to Atlanta in 1968. The team had mixed results as Ted Turner bought the team in 1977. In 1982, the team acquired Wilkins who would go on to lead the Hawks’ team stats. His exciting style of play made the Hawks a popular team as they had consecutive 50+ win seasons and consistently made the semifinals.
The team’s success continued into the 1990s even after Wilkins’ departure. Atlanta acquired many stars including Dikembe Mutombo, who became a two-time Defensive Player of the Year for the team. But again, the team could not make it past the semifinals.
By the early 2000s, Mutombo and most of the Hawks’ stars left. The franchise became a moribund team and consistently finished in the bottom five of the NBA. Finally, in 2008, the Hawks returned to the NBA playoffs. The team had stockpiled many young stars led by Al Horford and Joe Johnson.
Atlanta became a competitive team again and consistently made the postseason albeit not getting past the semifinals again. The team traded Johnson in 2012 but continued to ascend with Mike Budenholzer as the new coach in 2013.
During the 2014-15 season, the Hawks set a franchise record with 60 wins. The team also reached the Conference Finals for the first time since relocating to the city only to be swept by the LeBron James Cavaliers.
But by 2016, the Hawks began to tear down the team and bottom in the 2017-18 season. This allowed the team to acquire Trae Young. He led the Hawks back to the playoffs and the Conference Finals in 2021 where they lost to the eventual champions, the Bucks.
Now with newly acquired star Dejounte Murray, the Hawks have one of the most promising young teams in the league. An end to the championship drought is not such an outlandish idea.