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The Atlanta Hawks to retire Dikembe Mutombo's number

The intention here at is to take a look at every franchise from the four main North American Sports and who the best fifty is for each team.  It will be a daunting task for sure, but it will also include a look at how each team handles retiring numbers, franchise hall of fames and other post career accolades.

As such, we here are are acknowledging the Atlanta Hawks’ decision to retire the number of Dikembe Mutombo, the finger wagging shot-blocker who just entered the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Mutombo, who wore #55 throughout his entire professional career, was a Hawk for nearly five of his eighteen year career, earning All Star accolades in four of those seasons.  The African born player was named to two of his four NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards in Atlanta and also would be a two time Blocks Champion and two time Rebound Champion as a Hawk.

Overall as an Atlanta Hawk, Dikembe Mutombo had an 11.9 Points, 12.6 Rebounds and 3.2 Blocks per Game Average with an 18.9 PER.

We would like to congratulate Dikembe Mutombo on this latest accolade.

Our Top 50 All-Time Atlanta Hawks are now up

Always onward and upward for us here at!

We are ready to unveil a new Top 50, and once again it comes from the hardwood.  It is the Top 50 of the Atlanta Hawks.

The franchise began in Buffalo in 1946 as the Bisons in the NBL, though they were only there for a month relocating to Moline, Illinois where they were rechristened the Tri-Cities Blackhawks and would be part of the merger of the NBL and NBA in 1949. 

The team would relocate to Milwaukee in in 1951 upon the realization that Moline was too small to support the team.  Now named the Milwaukee Hawks, the franchise stayed there for only four years, but it do one major thing of note; it drafted Bob Pettit. 

The last half of the 1950’s and early 1960’s were the best in franchise history.  Now relocated to St. Louis, the Pettit led Hawks went to four NBA Finals (1957, 1958, 1960 & 1961) and would win the NBA Title in ’58, which to date is the only title the team has won.  The Hawks continued to b good through the 60’s, but despite the solid crowds, the ownership sought a bigger facility, which the city of St. Louis was not willing to provide.

Relocating to Atlanta in 1968, the Hawks have yet to make the Finals since their relocation despite multiple trips to the playoffs.  Currently, they have the second longest drought of not winning the NBA Title, though this does not mean that this list does not include some excellent players.

The entire list can be found here but for those who want a sneak peak, the top five are:

1. Bob Pettit

2. Dominique Wilkins

3. Cliff Hagen

4. John Drew

5. Lou Hudson

This list takes into account traditional statistics, advanced metrics and playoff performance.

It is up to the end of the 2015-16 Season.

We will be continuing our ongoing process of Top 50 teams with a return to the diamond, the Milwaukee Brewers.

As always, we thank you for your support!

9. Lou Hudson

“Sweet” Lou Hudson was aptly nicknamed as he was one of the sweetest shooters in the history of the league.  He predated the 3 point line but still was an incredible scorer.  17,000 career points at a 20.2 average attest to his ability to put the ball in the hoop.  The prototypical swing man, Hudson made 6 All-Star game trips and is a legend in both Atlanta with the Hawks and Minnesota with the Gophers where he played college ball.  The rest of the world may not know much about the sweet jump shooting wing man but they should.

32. Paul Silas

Paul Silas is one of the most respected players of his generation.  Never a star, Silas was a workmanlike power forward that was at his best coming off the bench and bringing the muscle to the court.  A great rebounder and defender, Silas was an integral part of three championship teams, two in Boston and one in Seattle.  A long career highlighted by being on winners and collecting over 12,000 rebounds (currently 20th on the all time list) have overshadowed a great college career. 

53. Bill Bridges

Bridges was an undersized power forward who had a long lasting career in the NBA due to his abilities to play defense and especially to rebound. Currently in the top 30 in all time rebounds in league history, Bridges made 3 all-star teams and averaged 11.9 points and rebounds throughout a very consistent career. He won his only title in 1975 with the Warriors and then did something that not many have had a chance to do. He retired as a champion.

75. Shareef Abdur-Rahim

A very good player, who had the misfortune of playing for some awful teams, Shareef Abdur-Rahim would five times hit the 20 points per game average, and would have a career PER of 19.0. Overall, he proved to be a very good Basketball player who had a lot more points than you may realize; though perhaps it is because you don’t remember any of them!

79. John Drew

John Drew had 20.7 points and almost 7 boards per game making him one of great small forwards of his generation.  Of course, a Hall of Fame induction would mean little to Jazz fans as they saw him in the tail end of his career where they shipped Dominique Wilkins to the Hawks.  Career wise, Drew has solid statistics with 15,000 points and 5,000 rebounds.  However, he is likely best known not for his solid lifetime numbers; nor being on the wrong end of a lopsided trade.  He is probably best known for notoriously receiving the first lifetime ban in the NBA for his cocaine addiction.

85. Christian Laettner

Christian Laettner is one of the best 10 college players ever leading the mighty Duke Blue Devils to two NCAA championships in a row.  He played the greatest game ever and hit the biggest shot in college basketball history.  He was the only college member of the Dream Team.  So why is he so low?  Well, he did not have the most stellar pro career and is thought of as being soft and was the not exactly popular.  Can you say OVER-RATED?  As the Hall recognizes college and pro achievements, his rank here is justified but as he was elected into the college hall in 2010, the chances of him getting in the regular Hall are getting slimmer by the day.

104. Mookie Blaylock

The grunge movement would not have been the same if Pearl Jam would have been able to call themselves what they wanted to; it would have been better.  Mookie Blaylock has such a nice ring to it for a Rock band don’t you think?  In regards to the man, Blaylock was quite the player.  One of the great shooting point guards ever, Mookie is top 50 in several NBA all time statistics.  He never really dominated the game but his consistency, ability to shoot and his great defense set him apart from most of the point guards of the 90’s.

112. Dan Roundfield

One of the great power forwards of the 70’s and 80’s. Dan Roundfield could rebound and score but is most famous for his ability to defend.  One of the best shot blockers at his position, Roundfield earned first team All NBA honors in 1980 and made three All-Star teams as well as being a perennial member of the All Defensive team. Underrated and playing in the obscurity of Atlanta, only his peers really knew how good he was.

#10. Vince Carter: Atlanta Hawks

While the term "iconic figure" is brandished about in Basketball often, this is no stretch to say that Vince Carter is just that.  This stemmed from his dunks and athletic charisma, and there was a time when he was considered the most exciting player in Basketball.  In his prime, he wasn't called a leader, but here he is still playing past the age of 40, and he fully embraced the elder statesman and mentor role.  Who would have thought!
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