Top 50 Atlanta Hawks

You would think that there would be a more rich history for the Atlanta Hawks, but other than a championship in a previous city (St, Louis), the post season success for the Hawks has not been an illustrious one, though it has been a long one.

Formed in 1946 as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in the National Basketball League, the Hawks would join the NBA in 1949 as part of the two leagues merger.  The team would relocate to Milwaukee in 1951, dropping the “Black” from the name and simply became the “Hawks”.  The stay in Milwaukee would only pan out for four years as the team would again relocate, this time to St. Louis, which is where they would have their greatest success. 

Led by Bob Pettit, The St. Louis Hawks would go to the NBA Finals (1957, 1958, 1960 & 1961) and would win one of those (’58).  To date, this is the only championship that the Hawks have won, and by far the best period of the organization’s existence.

With an inability to secure a decent arena, the Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1965, which has been their home since.  They have also not been to the NBA Finals since their move to the Peach State. 

They have had some excellent players in Atlanta (Dominique Wilkins of course) but they currently hold the second longest stretch (behind the Sacramento Kings) for not winning a championship.

This list is up to the end of the 2020/21 season.

Note: Basketball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics and post-season accolades.
Starting a little over 40 percent of his games in Atlanta, Alan Henderson would have four seasons where he eclipsed over 10 Points per Game.  Henderson may not have been a superstar, but he almost played 500 Games for the Hawks, and was highly regarded in the locker room.  Had Henderson not played in an era with a glut of very good Power Forwards (his VORP is relatively low) he would probably be ranked higher.
A member of the Atlanta Hawks for eight seasons, Georgian born (the country, not the state), Zaza Pachulia would enjoy the best stints of his career in Atlanta.  The Center would enjoy two seasons scoring over 10 Points per Season, even though he was used mostly off of the bench.
The starting Power Forward for two seasons for Atlanta, Grant Long was known for his good defensive skills but still produced solid offense with two seasons over 11 Points per Game.  Long would come back for a second run albeit in a reserve role but still had a respectable 9.8 PPG in his one season return.
Herm Gilliam played four seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, all of which saw him score over 10 Points per Game in a season.  In two of those campaigns, he hit the 14 PPG mark and was known as a decent distributor of the rock.  Gilliam would finish his career winning a championship with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The longest stretch of Tom McMillen’s career was six seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. The Center from the Universoty of Maryland had a pair of 9.9 Points per Game scoring seasons, while mainly used in a key bench role.  McMillen would later go on to become a U.S. Congressman.
A future NBA Champion and All Star with the Boston Celtics, Paul Silas began his first five seasons in the NBA with the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks.  Silas would eventually become a regular double double player, but the first time he averaged that in a career was with the Hawks.
An Atlanta Hawk for the first five years of his NBA career, Randy Wittman would have three consecutive seasons where he scored over 10 Points per Game.  Although, he was a Shooting Guard, he did not have a vast range and his three point shooting was abysmal.  On the positive side of the ledger, Wittman averaged 13.9 PPG in the playoffs, a notable increase from his regular season numbers and he would finish in the…
After coming off of a season in Seattle where he averaged 24 Points per Game and went to the All Star Game, Walt Hazzard cooled off but was no longer the main focal point of the offense.  He was still good, averaging 14.3 Points and 6.3 Assists in his three seasons in Atlanta.  He would finish in the top ten in Assists per Games in all three of his Atlanta campaigns.
The 8th Overall Pick (actually by the Pistons) out of Wichita State, Antoine Carr would begin his professional career with the Atlanta Hawks for the first five and a half seasons of his career.  He was not a starter in Atlanta but he was putting up good numbers off of the bench for the team.  Carr would later become a starter with the San Antonio Spurs.
From the University of Colorado, Jim Davis, Jim Davis would prove to be a decent player after he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons…and subsequently waived.  Davis would average 13.6 Points and 9.7 Rebounds per Game in 1969-70, which would be the best of his career.