2018-07-05 / Sports

Fat Guy Corner

King James now a Laker

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist Jeff Day — Sports Columnist The NBA free agency didn’t take long to become a huge splash. LeBron James announced Sunday night that he will become a LA Laker. Let’s be honest here, he is the talk of the NBA this summer.

Let’s look at what has happened in free agency starting with some of the big names. The Golden State Warriors locked Kevin Durant in principle to a two-year deal at $61.5 million. Talk about throwing around some big bucks. The Oklahoma City Thunder made a deal with Paul George at four years and $137 million on a four-year deal. I thought both of these players would stay with their current teams and they did.

The Houston Rockets kept Chris Paul in Houston with a four-year deal at $160 million. I think that was a must-re-sign for the Houston Rockets if they want to win a NBA title. The Detroit Pistons signed Glenn Robinson III to an $8.3 million two-year deal. The ex-Michigan man, Nik Stauskas, is headed to Portland, if you are following his NBA career. There are other deals, just way too many to mention in this space.

Three-game suspension

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to start the 2018 NFL season with Jameis Winston serving a threegame suspension. The reason? How about the NFL investigation into a 2016 groping of a female Uber driver! Let’s check back to 2012 at Florida State when he was accused of sexually assaulting a female student. He was not charged with the crime, yet Florida State paid off the Winston’s accuser with $950,000. I would say the character of Mr. Winston is a huge question mark. The NFL is getting better at weeding out these type of players than they ever used to. Let’s be brutally honest, Winston’s NFL career is not one of stellar numbers. He has started 45 games and went 18-27 and zero playoff trips. Toss in he is a turnover machine. What I am getting at is his days as a Tampa Bay quarterback are close to being over. The starter for the first three games will be the great Ryan “Pickpatrick” Fitzpatrick.

The Tampa Bay situation has me thinking about what the Lions do if Stafford gets injured? The backup quarterback situation is a battle between Matt Cassel and Jake Rudock. I think come training camp that this will be a interesting and competitive battle for the position. I can’t even predict who will win out, to be honest. I am pulling for Jake, but Matt has tons of experience behind him. As the clock ticks through July, NFL camps are getting closer. The Detroit Lions looking to roar in 2018 under new coach Matt Patricia. I will not miss Jim Caldwell one tiny weeny little bit, either!

NHL teams make big moves

The Toronto Maple Leafs make a huge splash with the inking of John Tavares to a seven-year contract at about $11 million a year. The Toronto Maple Leafs were the team he grew up watching, so you know it’s a dream come true for him.

The loss for the New York Islanders of their franchise center is a crushing blow to their fans. I know many, including me, thought he would re-sign with the only team he knew.

He was the Islanders No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft and a five-time All-Star. He is a tremendous talent and makes the Leafs so much stronger heading into next season.

The sad part for the Islanders is the fact he walks and they get zero return. Talk about hurting a team!

Motor City Kitties snap losing streak

The beloved Detroit Tigers were in an 11-game losing streak before winning 9-1 over the Toronto Blue Jays. The big news was the pre-game meeting of clearing the “air.” The whole team could stand up and speak whatever was on its collective mind. The three biggest speakers were Victor Martinez, James McCann and manager Ron Gardenhire. I don’t know what was said, but it worked for one baseball game.

What it does make me wonder, though, are there problems in the Tigers’ locker room? I guess if there are it will eventually leak out. The Tigers have slumped to 11 games under .500 with the losing streak.

I hope everyone enjoyed their July 4th celebrations with no firework injuries! thefatguy@mihimepaper.com.

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