Atlanta sports fans haven’t had a long tradition of championships, but the city has had a long tradition of franchise front offices that don’t try as hard to win as their competitors.
That’s not an excuse we can use anymore.
Braves general manager Frank Wren has earned the respect of Atlanta fans in past years by rebuilding a club that’s back to perennially contending for division titles and even championships. Every year, his actions show he’s not OK with simply eeking out a spot in the postseason and letting the fates decide what happens next. He’ll go out and get a big-name player that turns heads and fires up the fanbase, and while it hasn’t paid off with a trophy yet, it’s kept Braves fans confident they’ll get there eventually.
It’s exactly what we need to get back to any semblance of those great Braves teams of the 1990s.
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The Falcons continue to relentlessly pursue a Super Bowl title, thanks to general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Brought over from the New England Patriots, Dimitroff knows exactly what it takes to build a championship-caliber football team that will win more division titles than it loses. If you’ve been following the Falcons’ pedigree over the course of the franchise’s history, you know how refreshing it is to have peace of mind, knowing that the Falcons will be good, barring any unforeseen bad breaks.
Now, the Hawks have taken a similar path in hiring Danny Ferry away from the San Antonio Spurs, one of the great dynasties of our generation. As the general manager of the Hawks, Ferry has surely left his fingerprints all over the roster in his first year with the franchise. In Thursday night’s draft, Ferry grabbed two big men and a guard, but more importantly, two of the three picks were foreign players (center Lucas Nogueira, from Spain, and guard Dennis Schroeder, from Germany).
The Hawks have been notorious for snatching up the foreign-born players who never pan out, but in this case, I’m going to give Ferry my vote of confidence. The Spurs have been great with guys like Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker over the years, and while I’m not saying the new Hawks will be as good as San Antonio’s duo, Ferry’s expertise and track record suggest there’s a good chance they’ll be solid contributors.
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These three franchises appear to be varying distances from a championship, but it’s an exciting time to be an Atlanta sports fan. For the first time ever, all three franchises have a competent general manager who energetically and constantly feels the need to make his respective club better.
And with that much passion, a championship parade can’t be too far away.