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The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Hawks compete in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the NBA. The Hawks were founded in 1946 as the Buffalo Bisons and, after a subsequent move to Illinois, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks as a part of the National Basketball League (NBL). After the merger between the NBL and the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA in 1949, the Hawks franchise had a brief stop in Milwaukee and a 13 season stint in St. Louis before moving to Atlanta in 1968. The team had its greatest years of success while playing in St. Louis. The Hawks made NBA Finals appearances in 1957, 1958, 1960, and 1961. The team beat the Celtics in 1958 for their only NBA championship but lost to the Celtics in each of their other finals appearances. Between 1966 and 2014, the Hawks won just three division titles and did not advance past the second round of the playoffs a single time. However, in 2015, the Hawks won their division and made the Eastern Conference Finals in the same season.
The Hawks play their home games at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The team has had four NBA Hall of Famers, highlighted by forward Lenny Wilkins. Wilkins was a nine-time NBA All-Star and was most notably known for his great performances at the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Wilkens then coached the team from 1993-2000 and is second place on the all-time list for most NBA victories as a head coach. Wilkins was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1989 and a coach in 1998.