Tri-City Blackhawks Team History
Along the banks of the Mississippi River in the area known as tri-cities, where the cities of Moline, Illinois; Rock Island, Illinois; and Davenport, Iowa form a consolidation the newest franchise in the National Basketball League began play after starting the season as the Buffalo Bisons for a few games, with General Manager Leo Ferris who was instrumental in developing the shot clock. Playing in the 6,000-seat Wharton Fieldhouse in Moline and known as the Blackhawks (115 years earlier it was the location of the Blackhawk war) the team struggled finishing in fifth place with a 19-25 record. Among the players on the team was pioneer Pop Gates, who was a star on the all black New York Renaissance that won 68 straight games in the early days of professional basketball.
After losing their next six games Coach Roger Potter was fired and replaced by Arnold “Red” Auerbach. Under Auerbach the Blackhawks would go on to finish in third place with a 29-35 record finishing in third place in the Western Division. IN the playoffs the Blackhawks would be knocked off by the Anderson Packers in a three game series. Following the season Auerbach would not renew his contract
Following the season Auerbach would not renew his contract taking the coaching job with Boston Celtics where he would go on to build a dynasty, along with Bob Cousy who the Blackhawks would trade to the Chicago Stags shortly after the draft. Cousy who end up in Boston after the Stags folded prior to the start of the next season.
On December 25, 1946, Leo Ferris, the team's General Manager, announced that the team would be moving to Moline, Illinois, which at that time was part of an area then known as the "Tri-Cities": Moline, Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa.
Upon relocation to Moline, the team was renamed the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, and played their home games at Wharton Field House, a 6,000-seat arena in Moline.
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
Blackhawks - Tri-Cities located in the midwest, in lands which once belonged to the Kickapoo, Sauk, and Fox Indians. The three tribes fought a long war against the United Stated called the Blackhawk war after their chief Blackhawk.
NBA Championships 0
1999 – Present / 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
Who is the greatest Tri-City Blackhawks?
9 Bob Pettit
21 Dominique Wilkins
23 Lou Hudson
55 Dikembe Mutombo
– Ted Turner
2014 - Present / Harry the Hawk
1996 - 2013 / Skyhawk
*Blue is this team’s history