Jan 3, 2022
While NBA fans take today's
Hawks and Pelicans as historical "givens," their very existences
belie the Sunbelt South's complicated economic and social
relationship with professional sports during the modern era -
especially with respect to basketball.
We dig into the sport's tenuous
first professional incursions into both New Orleans (the ABA's
charter Buccaneers) and Atlanta (the NBA's relocated St. Louis
Hawks) during the culturally and politically charged late-1960s -
as well as why it took so long for those franchises to even
materialize in the first place.
Aiello also takes us through
the similarly challenged exploits of the NBA's New Orleans Jazz
(today domiciled in Utah) of the 1970s - who, despite the dazzling
on-court wizardry of adopted LSU native son Pete Maravich, found
the going in the Big Easy to be anything but.