The Hawks organization and fans have lost a pioneer. Lou Hudson suffered a stroke and passed away in Atlanta over the weekend at the age of 69.
Louis Clyde “Sweet Lou” Hudson was renowned for being a durable sharp shooter at either the shooting guard or small forward positions over the course of his career. It came at a time when the NBA was much less popular in the sport landscape of the country, even fighting the ABA for attention before the completion of the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.
He played at the University of Minnesota and was drafted by the then St. Louis Hawks at 4th overall in the 1966 NBA Draft. He spent 2 years in St. Louis then moved with the Hawks to Atlanta for another 9 years with the club. 11 of his 13 years in the NBA were with the Hawks franchise.
He was named to the All-Star team in 6 straight seasons from 1968-69 to 1973-74. He was also named to the All-Rookie first team in 1967.
Hudson one of a small club of players to have his number retired by the club. His number 23 hangs in the Philips Arena rafters next to Bob Pettit and Dominique Wilkins, obviously fine company. He had career averages of over 20.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
Hudson scored 17,940 points in his career putting him 64th in NBA history. He is in the top 3 in career minutes and field goals with the Hawks and fifth in points per game. He will be missed by the entire global basketball community.