The Atlanta Hawks returning to St. Louis for a special game already has the support of the team’s longtime broadcaster.
Bob Rathbun says the Hawks coming back to St. Louis would be “perfect” to celebrate and commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Hawks’ only NBA Championship. Doing so with the Boston Celtics would be the perfect match.
Rathbun said he’s been pushing the idea for years.
“I think it makes total sense,” he said. “I think it is something that both franchises ought to get behind.”
The St. Louis Hawks and the Boston Celtics had a strong rivalry in the late-’50s and into the early-’60s. Boston always came away victorious in the championship finals, except in 1958 when hall of famer Bob Pettit played the best games of his career and led St. Louis to the title.
Boston getting in on this special reunion of sorts in St. Louis wouldn’t only be because they were the opponent 65 years ago. Playing Boston would make this event extra special as their standout star, Jayson Tatum, is a St. Louis native and one of the NBA’s best players.
The setting would be just as perfect too. The site of Kiel Auditorium, where the Hawks played their home games in St. Louis, is now the site of Enterprise Center — St. Louis’ major sports arena. It’s home to the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, but basketball is played there too. St. Louis has hosted NBA exhibition games there in the past, Saint Louis University once played its home basketball games there, and it’s currently where the Missouri Valley Conference is decided before the Final Four.
“I will keep doing whatever I can to bring this to their attention,” Rathbun said of team leaders. “I think it ought to be celebrated. I think a Boston/Atlanta game in St. Louis would be absolutely perfect.
“Tatum getting the chance to play at home would be great.”
Rathbun notes this event could showcase St. Louis and give the NBA some thoughts about expanding to the Gateway City.
“There are some franchises that are not doing well and could look to relocate, and you’ve got the possibility of expansion,” Rathbun said. “So if there are interested parties with deep pockets that want to bring it back, go for it. The time is right.”
There’s plenty of time to plan and get the ball rolling on an event that wouldn’t have to take place until 2023.
Antony Ressler, Wyc Grousbeck — the ball is in your court.
Originally Appeared Here