Originally known as the Buffalo Bisons, the Hawks took more than two decades to finally settle into their current home of Atlanta.
While the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks seemed to dominate the headlines in the early days of the NBA, the Hawks were also one of the league's more prominent teams in the start-up portion of organized professional basketball.
The Hawks existed as the Bisons for one year in 1946. They became the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in 1946, playing in the town of Moline, Illinois. They moved to a major city five years later and became the Milwaukee Hawks for four seasons.
The team then resided in St. Louis for 13 seasons, which featured the most prosperous years of Hawks basketball to this day. In 1958, Hall of Famer Bob Pettit led the Hawks to their first and only NBA championship with an upset over a juggernaut Boston Celtics team that featured three eventual Hall of Famers in the starting lineup.
Over the course of 67 years, the Hawks have acquired some historic talent, including forgotten legends who were propping up the franchise as a title contender throughout the 1950s and '60s.
Since the team has existed for nearly seven decades, there was difficulty in narrowing down the final all-time roster, as well as a few inactive players on the "injured reserve," to just 12 men.
The Hawks, whether they were in St. Louis or their current location, have experienced success in seemingly every era of basketball. Unfortunately, they were rarely able to persevere against the elite teams, with the exception of that giant-killer of a Hawks team in '58.