Atlanta Hawks: 15 best NBA Draft picks of all-time

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
14 of 15
Lenny Wilkens, St. Louis Hawks
(Photo by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Whether he was a floor general or a head coach, Lenny Wilkens is what we call a basketball lifer. He is a member of both the College Basketball Hall of Fame and the Basketball Hall of Fame. Wilkens has twice been enshrined in Springfield, once as a player in 1989 and once as a head coach in 1998.

St. Louis selected the point guard out of Providence in the 1960 NBA Draft No. 6 overall. Wilkens would play eight of his 15 NBA seasons with the Hawks, all in St. Louis. He made the first five of his nine NBA All-Star Games while playing in Hawks uniform beginning in 1962-63. Though he would be traded to the then Seattle SuperSonics, he would continue his prime into the early 1970s in the Pacific Northwest.

In total, Wilkens was a nine-time NBA All-Star during his 15-year NBA career with four teams. As a player, Wilkens was good enough to get into the Basketball Hall of Fame eventually. Even though he was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996, many remember Wilkens for his time as a head coach. He is best known for his time on the sidelines in Seattle, in Atlanta for the Hawks and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Wilkens won an NBA Championship as a head coach of the 1979 SuperSonics and NBA Coach of the Year in 1994 with the Hawks. However you slice it, Wilkens is one of the most important Hawks of all-time. Whether he was playing point guard or roaming the sidelines, you can’t begin to tell the history of Hawks basketball without Wilkens.