Members of the Eastern Conference of the NBA, the Atlanta Hawks are based in Atlanta, Georgia and play their home games in downtown Atlanta at the Philips Arena. They were established in 1946 as the Buffalo Bisons and were a part of the National Basketball League. It wasn't until 1949 that they became part of the NBA due to the merger and they also moved to Moline, Illinois and became the Tri-City Blackhawks. They moved to Milwaukee in 1951, St. Louis in 1955, and finally moved to Atlanta in 1968 and became the Atlanta Hawks. In their early years, they were one of the league's worst teams with records that were always at the bottom of their division. Amidst all their moving, the Hawks drafted Bob Pettit in 1953 who would later on become a NBA MVP. With Pettie, the team began to slowly improve after relocating to St. Louis, advancing to the Finals four times until moving to Atlanta about 15 years later. They had their first and only NBA Finals championship in 1958 when they defeated the Boston Celtics who were the defending champions. Former owner, Ben Kerner, sold the team to Tom Cousins and Carl Sanders who then moved the team to Atlanta and provided them with a new arena which was under construction at the time.
In 1977, Ted Turner bought the team and hired Hubie Brown to become head coach of the Hawks. During the time, they were the only southeastern NBA team in the US just like MLB team, the Atlanta Braves. Coach Brown won coach of the year in 1978 and helped the team in getting their first division title in the Central Division. Only a few years later, Mike Fratello was promoted to head coach and new player Dominique Wilkins was drafted onto the team. Wilkins became one of the best dunkers in the NBA, nicknamed “the Human Highlight Film” due to his ability to dunk because of his height. Through the late 1980's, the Hawks were one of the more dominant teams in the league, winning 50 or more games each season. Through the rest of the 1990's and into the 2000's, they remained competitive and had many trades that proved to be beneficial to the team such as Jason Terry and Shareef Abdur-Rahim who became two of the team's top scorers. In their 2004 season, they were sold to Atlanta Spirit, ending their season as the worst team in the league. In the following year they signed Joe Johnson and with this new addition, they began to improve upon their previous years record and by 2009 had their first winning season in ten years. In 2012, Danny Ferry was hired as General Manager and President of Basketball Operations of the Hawks.
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