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The Atlanta Hawks are able to trace their history back to 1947 when they were first founded. The team joined the NBA in 1949. At this time the franchise was based in Buffalo, New York and named the Buffalo Bisons. After only 13 games of their first season the team owner decided to move the franchise to Illinois and renamed them the Tri City Blackhawks.
It was in this form that the team became one of the 17 founder members of the newly formed NBA in 1949. The Blackhawks began the first ever NBA season well and finished with qualification to the play offs. In 1951 the franchise was moved again to Milwaukee where they became the Milwaukee Hawks. The team struggled at this time and it wasn't long before the franchise was moved yet again. This time to St Louis, Missouri which led to another name change, the St. Louis Hawks. In 1957 the Hawks got their first taste of the finals where they eventually lost to the Celtics. In 1958 they went one better and won the championship for the first and only time.
For the next ten years the Hawks enjoyed success, winning seven division championships and always playing in the post season games. In 1968 the team made it's final move to Atlanta and became the Atlanta Hawks we know today. Today they play in the Philips Arena which holds over 18700 people for a basketball game, the arena was built in 1999.
The Hawks have the sad record of the most recent active player to die when Jason Collier died aged 28 of heart problems. The team paid tribute to him by retiring the number 7 shirt. Other notable former players for the Hawks include hawks legend Bob Pettit, Dikembe Mutombo and Dominique Wilkins who was one of the best ever dunkers of all time in the NBA.
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