Report: LeBron Once Snatched Clipboard From Coach to Draw Up Own Play, Then Hit Game-Winner

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Former Cleveland Cavaliers big men Brendan Haywood and Kendrick Perkins told the story of how LeBron James drew up his own play to win a playoff game against the Chicago Bulls.

Haywood and Perkins explained that then-Cavaliers head coach David Blatt drew up a play for guard J.R. Smith, but James decided to take the clipboard and design his own play.

โ€œHey Ryan [Hollins], he drew up his own game-winner,โ€ Haywood said on the Opinionated 7-Footers podcast. โ€œLike, โ€˜Nah, we gonna do this.โ€™ Thatโ€™s how he got the shot in the corner. He drew up his own play.โ€

Perkins then chimed in with his version of the story.

โ€œIโ€™m glad you brought that up,โ€ Perkins said. โ€œYou remember David Blatt? He had Bron taking the ball out.โ€

โ€œBron was supposed to be taking the ball out and the play was supposed to be for J.R. Smith,โ€ Haywood added. โ€œBron was like, โ€˜Nah-ah,โ€™ wiped off the board, โ€˜We running this,โ€™ and then he ran the play to get himself the shot in the corner. He called his own play.โ€

Perkins revealed that in crucial moments when Blatt got nervous, his nose would begin to bleed.

โ€œIโ€™m getting the paper towels because his hands shaking, nose bleeding and he draws up this play for J.R.,โ€ Perkins said. โ€œIโ€™m like, โ€˜Hold on.โ€™โ€

Not only was Perkins confused, but Haywood said that the whole team didnโ€™t really understand the coach’s decision.

โ€œThe whole team was looking at each other crazy like, โ€˜You do know we got this guy LeBron over here right?โ€™โ€ Haywood said. โ€œBut the play was supposed to be for J.R. Bron drew up a play where basically it looked like he was going to set a screen and he pops out to the corner real quick. And he drew it up and it worked.โ€

Not only is it impressive that James drew up his own play, but the shot was a monumental one for the Cavs.

Cleveland was trailing the Bulls 2-1 in the series at the time, so Jamesโ€™ shot evened the series and potentially saved the Cavs from elimination.

The Cavs would go on to make the NBA Finals, but lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.