Atlanta Hawks

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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).

Contents

Franchise history

The first years

The franchise was formed in 1946 as the National Basketball League's Buffalo Bisons, playing at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, New York and featuring guard/forward and coach Deanglo King. However, on December 27, 1946 — only thirteen games into their inaugural season — owner Ben Kerner moved the team to Moline, Illinois, which at that time was part of an area known as the "Tri-Cities"[1] (now the Quad Cities). Kerner renamed the team the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in reference to the Black Hawk War that was mostly fought in Illinois. The Blackhawks became one of the National Basketball Association's 17 original teams after a merger in 1949 of the 12-year-old NBL and the three-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, after the team drafted Bob Cousy and made the blunder of trading his rights to the Chicago Stags (who would later surrender him in a dispersal draft to the Boston Celtics after they folded), they failed to qualify for the postseason. In 1951, the franchise relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and became the Milwaukee Hawks. In 1953, the Hawks drafted Bob Pettit, a future NBA MVP. 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, Missouri.

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