Julio Jones: Falcons star means everything to city of Atlanta

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Jul 27, 2014; Cooperstown, NY, USA; Hall of Fame inductees Tom Glavine (left), Bobby Cox (center), and Greg Maddux (right) pose with their Hall of Fame plaques during the class of 2014 national baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at National Baseball Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Dominique Wilkins was electric

Those Braves teams had many superstars such as Greg Maddux, John Smolz, Tom Glavine, and Chipper Jones. All are beloved sports figures in Atlanta; three entered the MLB hall of fame on their first ballot, and the fourth (Chipper) will also be a first ballot hall of famer, next year. The manager of that team, Bobby Cox, was also a first ballot Hall of Famer.

These Braves didn’t have the excitement level of a player like Dominique Wilkins, and I wouldn’t put them in that category of “electric superstar”, but they deserve a mention in this article as the entire city rallied behind them nonetheless, because they won.

Something Wilkins could never do with the Hawks was win a championship; he never even got out of the second round of the playoffs. He and those Hawks teams were victims of circumstance—always running into all time great teams (Larry Bird’s Celtics, Michael Jordan’s Bulls) in an all-time great conference. That was his fatal flaw, as Atlanta’s first electric superstar.

There was a player in Atlanta sports who came at a time in between Dominique Wilkins and the all time great Braves (he was even a part of the Braves for a while): Deion Sanders. “Primetime” Sanders was excitement from the start during his days at Florida State. The Falcons made him the fifth overall pick in the 1989 draft, and the cornerback/return specialist proceeded to dazzle the city.

Next: Two stars that came and went