Atlanta Hawks: Bill Russell (BEST)
Even though Bill Russell never played a minute of basketball for the Hawks’ organization (in St. Louis or Atlanta), he still has to be mentioned here because of historical greatness. There is no greater winner in American team sports than Bill Russell. None.
No player has more NBA championships than Russell, who won 11 titles in a 13-year span with the Boston Celtics.
What’s even more impressive is that Russell won his last two titles as a player-coach, in the years after Red Auerbach retired from coaching the team. Russell and the Celtics won eight straight titles from 1959 to 1966, and Russell was named the league’s MVP five times along the way. Simply put, he was the leader of the winningest team in major U.S. sports history. When he retired from the NBA in 1969, he did so as the undisputed GOAT.
Atlanta Hawks: Jon Koncak (WORST)
There was a familiar maxim among NBA scouts: a guy who stood 7-feet tall and could run 100 feet in a straight line was almost certainly going to be a top 10 pick in the NBA Draft. Case in point? Jon Koncak, whom the Atlanta Hawks took with the 5th overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft.
Koncak’s only claim to fame in Atlanta was being derisively nicknamed “Jon Contract,” for how much money his contract eventually cost the team. But here’s the real kicker: four players taken among the next eight picks were among the greatest players of the 1980’s and 1990’s: Chris Mullin, Detlef Schrempf, Charles Oakley, and Karl Malone.