Ranking the Best Jersey Designs in Atlanta Hawks History

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Ranking the Best Jersey Designs in Atlanta Hawks History
Hawks Jersey Timeline [Photo courtesy NBA.com]

The Atlanta Hawks' franchise history dates back to 1946, when the team was initially formed as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. Since moving to Atlanta, the team has only sported 10 different uniforms.

From "Pistol" Pete Maravich to Dominique Wilkins, on to Dikembe Mutombo and Al Horford, Hawks athletes have had nice threads to wear. Here we will rank the best of them and take a look at the future.

 

No. 4 — 2007 Jersey

The modern look is sleek and simple. [Photo courtesy of NBAshopAustralia.com]

In 2007, the Atlanta Hawks underwent a branding overhaul, introducing a new logo, new team font and a modern update to their uniforms.

The new look included a white home jersey—featuring "Atlanta" on the front, and a midnight blue away jersey with "Hawks" on the front. The team also eventually added a third alternative red jersey that replaced the team name on the front with the city's initials, "ATL."

This jersey features an "ATL" on the back upper center of the shorts, as well as the new team logo—a stylistically modern hawk head—on the front lower right leg of the shorts.

The 2007 jersey is still the current look of Hawks basketball, resting on the shoulders of today's roster.

 

No. 3 — 1982 Jersey

The 1982 jersey had a style that seemed to echo that of Highlight Factory star Dominique Wilkins. [Photo courtesy NBA.com]

1982 brought forth both a Hall of Fame player in Dominique Wilkins and a new look for the franchise.

Ushering in the era of the Highlight Factory, the Hawks introduced a new red jersey lined with yellow trim and complete with a bold white stripe arcing across the middle of the torso. This jersey lasted 10 years before being replaced.

The jersey introduced fans to one of the most recognizable logos in Atlanta history, the circle hawk head often referred to as the "Pacman" logo.

 

No. 2 — 1970 Jersey

No. 44 "Pistol" Pete Maravich [Photo courtesy NBA.com]

The primary blue and neon green look was a drastic change from the previous sky blue with red trim from two years prior.

Originally worn by the great "Pistol" Pete Maravich, the jersey featured a thin stripe that ran vertically up the right side and turned diagonally across the upper torso before going over the left shoulder.

The shorts featured a circle with a hawk head contained inside—the predecessor to the "Pacman" logo—on the right short leg.

 

No. 1 — 1995 Jersey

The Hawks enjoyed these threads in the era of Steve Smith and Dikembe Mutombo. [Photo courtesy Foros.ACB.com]

This jersey was the first to feature a prominent amount of black, while utilizing the Hawks' primary color, red. It was unique in that the top half was black while the bottom was red. The bottom half seemed to fade upwards into the black emptiness of the jersey's top half.

The middle of the torso featured a new logo, a hawk with wings outstretched and its talons gripping a basketball. That graphic still remains as Atlanta's primary logo to this day.

With the logo taking up most of the center, jersey numbers were shifted up closer to the left shoulder.

This stylish jersey is still worn on occasion as a throwback.

 

The Future of Hawks Jerseys

With the NBA introducing a short-sleeved jersey last season in Golden State, the next progression in the team's look will obviously follow this pattern.

Thus far, the league and Adidas—the official apparel manufacturer of the NBA—continue to advance the sleeved revolution, announcing that as many as five more teams will debut short-sleeved jerseys in 2013-14.

It seems wise to think that in the near future every team will have short-sleeved jerseys. The transition to sleeves will provide more square inches of room for teams to eventually use as advertising space to sell to corporations, similar to international sports organizations like FIFA and FIBA.

Possible short-sleeved Atlanta jersey? [Made with Photoshop]

Using the Golden State Warriors short-sleeved jersey as a model, this is a mock-up of what an Atlanta jersey might look like.

Time will tell what direction the league (under Adam Silver's leadership) takes in regards to sleeved jerseys.

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