Gateway City Here We ComeAfter four last-place seasons in Milwaukee, the Hawks arrived in St. Louis, who had once been home to the Bombers an early BAA franchise that folded in 1950 and were on the verge of becoming one of the top teams in the NBA with second-year Forward Bob Pettit. In their first season in the Gateway City, Pettit would earn the ...
Trade Bill Russell to the CelticsPrior to the start of the season, the Hawks made one of the biggest draft-day deals in NBA history sending second overall pick Bill Russell to the Boston Celtics for Rookie Guard Cliff Hagan and second-year star Ed Macauley, who had been a popular player at St. Louis University. Despite the movies, the Hawks struggled most of the season as ...
NBA ChampionshipComing off their trip to the NBA Finals the Hawks were flying high taking the Western Division by eight games with a solid 41-31 record as they played a strong ball control game with Bob Pettit ranking third in scoring and second in rebounding. In the Western Finals, the Hawks would have no problem with Detroit Pistons taking the series ...
Coach Alex Hannum was ReplacedDespite winning the NBA Championship Coach Alex Hannum was replaced by Andy Phillip, who would only last two games before being replaced by Ed Macauley. The Hawks would also make changes to the team acquiring Clyde Lovellette from the Cincinnati Royals. The Hawks would go on to win the Western Division easily with a solid 49-23 record as Bob Pettit ...
Best Season in St. LouisWith Zelmo Beaty and Lenny Wilkens averaging more the 20 ppg, the Hawks had their finest season in St. Louis posting a 56-26 record and finishing in first place. However, in the playoffs, the Hawks would be stunned in the first round by the San Francisco Warriors in six games. Following the season St. Louis fans would be further stunned ...
History of the Hawks
The St. Louis Hawks were a professional basketball team based in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1955 to 1968. They were members of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and won one NBA championship during their tenure in the league. The Hawks began as an expansion team when they joined the NBA for its third season in 1955-56 and quickly became a contender, reaching the finals three times between 1957 and 1961 before finally winning it all against Boston Celtics in 1958 with Bob Pettit leading them to victory averaging 25 points per game throughout playoffs that year alone.
The success of this period was primarily due to Hall of Fame players such as Slater Martin, Clyde Lovellette, Cliff Hagan, Lenny Wilkens, and Richie Guerin, among others, who formed part of some great teams coached by Alex Hannum which went on deep runs into Playoffs but couldn't get past Celtics or Philadelphia 76ers at time. In 1965 ownership changed hands after Ben Kerner bought out his partners, thus beginning a new era for the franchise. He brought up young stars like Lou Hudson & Zelmo Beaty while trading away most veterans from previous seasons. However, even though they made a couple more playoff appearances record wasn't nearly identical to prior years, so eventually, Kerner sold the club back original owners, who then relocated them to Atlanta after the 1968 season-ending chapter here, St Louis City had with pro basketball until 1988 when another version Hawk's came back under name Kansas City Kings only last few years before moving Sacramento California become what now known today Sacramento Kings.
Despite not having much success later in their stay here, the city still fondly remembers the golden age of Basketball, which saw them win one Championship, four Finals appearances, and many division titles, making history locally and nationally. Something can never take away, no matter how long ago those events took place!
Tri-Cities - Milwaukee - St. Louis - Atlanta
1949 – Present / National Basketball Association
1946 – 1949 / National Basketball League
1968 – Present / Atlanta Hawks
1955 – 1968 / St. Louis Hawks
1951 – 1955 / Milwaukee Hawks
1946 – 1951 / Tri-Cities Blackhawks
Hawks - The St. Louis Hawks are one of the most iconic teams in NBA history, and their nickname has an interesting origin story. The team was founded in 1946 as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, referencing the three cities that made up its original home base: Moline and Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa.
However, when they relocated to Milwaukee for two seasons (1951-53), they changed their name to "Hawks" to honor Black Hawk—the leader of a Native American tribe who had lived in what is now southern Wisconsin during the early 19th century. This new moniker stuck with them even after moving again to St. Louis in 1955, where it remains today despite several other relocations throughout their long history, including Atlanta (1968) and San Diego (1972).
For any sports fan looking for insight into this beloved franchise’s past or wanting something cool trivia knowledge about one of basketball's most significant legacies - look no further than to understand why they were initially called “Hawks!”
NBA Championships 1
2019 - Present / State Farm Arena
1999 - 2018 / Philips Arena
1997 – 1999 / Georgia Dome & Alexander Memorial Coliseum
1972 – 1997 / The Omni
1968 – 1972 / Alexander Memorial Coliseum
1955 – 1968 / Kiel Auditorium
1951 – 1955 / Milwaukee Arena
1946 – 1951 / Wharton Field House
2015 – Present / Tony Ressler
2004 – 2015 / Atlanta Spirit, LLC
1977 – 2004 / Ted Turner/Turner Broadcasting
1968 – 1976 / Tom Cousins/Cousins Corporation, Carl Sanders
1946 – 1968 / Ben Kerner
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
9 / Bob Pettit
21 / Dominique Wilkins
23 / Lou Hudson
44 / Pete Maravich
55 / Dikembe Mutombo
59 / Kasim Reed
– / Ted Turner
*Blue is this team’s history