Atlanta Hawks Mount Rushmore
OTG Basketball presents NBA Mount Rushmore, where we look at who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of each team in the league. Up next, is the Atlanta Hawks.
Bob Pettit, C/F
With no hesitation, there are two faces that are automatic on the Atlanta Hawks Mount Rushmore. One is Bob Pettit. He leads the franchise in rebounds by a large margin (over 4,000 more than the runner up), free throws made, defensive win shares, and win shares. He’s also second in minutes, field goals made and points scored while playing in the third most games. His first three years in the league featured a Rookie of the Year and TWO MVP awards. He was named an All-Star 11 times. In the 1957-58 season, “Big Blue” averaged 24.6 points and 17.4 rebounds per game, leading the Hawks to their first and only title. That alone gets his face in stone. Not bad for a player initially thought not to be talented enough to develop into a legit NBA player.
Dominique Wilkins, SF
The second lock for the Atlanta Hawks Mount Rushmore is Dominique Wilkins. He leads the franchise in games, minutes, field goals made, offensive box plus-minus and VORP (Value Over Replacement Player). He’s also second in steals, free throws, and offensive rebounds. The Human Highlight Film won TWO Slam Dunk titles, a scoring title and was named an All-Star nine times. If you ever had the opportunity to watch his epic battles with Michael Jordan, there’s no doubt in your mind he goes here as one of the greatest Hawks to ever play.
Lou Hudson, F/G
While there is quite a drop after the first two, Hudson belongs here. He made the All-NBA Rookie team and was named an All-Star SIX seasons in a row. Lou averaged 22 points per game in 730 games as a Hawk. After moving from St. Louis to Atlanta, he scored the first basket and was the city’s first All-Star. In 1972-73, he averaged over 27 points per game. He was a bonafide scorer for the franchise. RIP Sweet Lou.
Mookie Blaylock, PG
He was known as one of the best defensive stoppers in college and that skill translated to the NBA immediately as he turned into one of the best point guards in franchise history. He holds the team record for steals and three-pointers made and is second all-time in assists. “The Thief” led the league in steals twice and his energy and intensity will never be forgotten. This spot could have gone to a few different players like Tree Rollins (shot block leader), Dikembe Mutombo (finger wag) and Spud Webb (you can dunk at 5-foot-6) but I think Mookie deserves to be the fourth face.
Looking for space on the mountain:
Trae Young, PG
Trae is off to a scorching hot start to his young career and he will quickly climb up the ranks in multiple categories. He’s already entered the top ten in three-pointers made and has already been named an All-Star starter. It would not be surprising for him to be in the top five in franchise history in points and assists by the end of his rookie contract. I don’t know if he will ever reach the level that Wilkins and Pettit did, but he definitely has a chance to become part of Atlanta Hawks Mount Rushmore.