The Hawks Take Flight
The Atlanta Hawks got their start in 1946. However, back then, they were known as the Buffalo Bisons and were a part of the National Basketball League, where they played for 38 days before departing for Moline, Illinois. There, they took on a new name — the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, in reference to the Black Hawk War that was mostly fought in Illinois.
The team survived a merger of the NBL and BAA and was one of the first 17 teams in the National Basketball Association. They then relocated to Milwaukee in 1951 and shortened their team name to the Hawks. They would move to St. Louis four years later. They finally landed in Atlanta – their present-day host city – in 1968.
The team has one NBA championship to its name. In 1958, the team – playing as the St. Louis Hawks – won the series in six games over the Boston Celtics, whom they had faced the prior season in the finals, only to lose in game 7. Even though they have but a single championship, the team’s playoff appearances aren’t scarce in the history books – the Hawks have reached the postseason 45 times out of 68 seasons.
Throughout their long history, the Hawks have had a few notable players hit the court. For example, Dominique Wilkins played in Atlanta for 12 seasons; Mookie Blaylock was with the Hawks for seven seasons; and Joe Johnson played there for seven seasons.
Over the course of their history, the Hawks have had an impressive number of jersey design changes. Check them out below.
The Hawks Jerseys Over the Years
1968–1970: Red and white dominate the Hawks jersey. The home jersey is white and is accompanied by red block lettering of the team name. The player numbers are also in red and trimmed in black. The neck, arms, and sides feature a triple stripe design – a single black line flanked by two red lines.
1970–1972: There is a complete departure from the old color scheme, which is replaced by blue and green on white. A thick stripe snakes from the left shoulder, across the chest, and onto the right side, where it is joined by a green and blue stripe. Block letters spell out “Atlanta” in blue and are paired with a player number of the same color.
1982–1992: The team reverts to red and white, but adds gold touches to the uniform. At the start of the ’80s, the jersey is bold and bright, with a wide swath of red going from armpit to armpit, sloping up toward the left shoulder. “Hawks” appears within the thick stripe, and the player numbers are solid red.
1992–1995: The uniform features a thick red stripe on the left side, accompanied by “Hawks” in a curved, serif font above a red player number. The team name and number are outlined in gold and feature a drop shadow.
1995–1999: This jersey features a striking hawk in the center, clutching a basketball in its talons. “Hawks” is written above the bird’s outstretched wings, and each player number is written above “Hawks.” The text, sleeves, and neck are outlined in gold, black, and red.
1999–2001: The letters and numbers continue to be red and outlined in gold and black, but the intimidating hawk no longer appears on the jersey. A bold red stripe goes down both sides and is trimmed in gold and black.
2007–2010: Gold is abandoned during this uniform change. Blue takes the stage on the team name and player number, as well as on a thick swath on each side of the jersey. The letters and numbers are outlined in red, and a thinner stripe accents the sides as well.
2010–2014: The design of this jersey is very similar to its immediate predecessor, but the neck gets reshaped into a V.
2014–2015: The major change of note here is the small addition of a bit of gold at the back of the neckline.
2015–2017: Today’s Hawk jersey has no trace of blue. Instead, it’s gone to a more simple design. The side stripes are eliminated, and volt green is added to the color palette. This bright green outlines the red team name across the front and is the main attraction of the number, which is outlined in red. The base fabric of the jersey features a V-shaped feather pattern.
Are you all about representing your Hawks, whether you’re watching the game, cheering from the stands, or heading to your neighborhood ball court? Be sure to check out the Atlanta gear at Fanatics.com. You won’t be disappointed.