LeBron James’ ex-Cavs teammate recalls insane story about The King drawing up game-winner vs. Bulls in 2015
No matter where LeBron James plays, lives or goes, he and the Cleveland Cavaliers will forever be intertwined. So forgive former NBA center Brendan Haywood for reminiscing about a time when in, 2015, James proved himself to as a competitor altogether different from the one that media personalities such as Skip Bayless made him out to be
“Playing with [LeBron] in Cleveland showed me that all that nonsense… ‘He don’t have the killer gene’… Man, if you don’t shut your old a** up,” Haywood begins.
“Do you remember that shot that LeBron hit against Jimmy Butler in Chicago,” Haywood continues, referencing a game-winning pocket 3 that James nailed against the Chicago Bulls in the 2015 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
“David Blatt draws the play up… [LeBron] said, ‘Absolutely not,’ grabs the clipboard, erases the play… I’ve never seen somebody draw up their own game winner.”
Brendan Haywood on LeBron’s game winner vs. the Bulls in 2015
“LeBron had actually been playing terrible down the stretch,” Haywood concedes. “Turnovers. Missed some shots. Free-throws…”
“We get to the huddle, and (former Cavs head coach) David Blatt draws the play up. ‘JR [Smith] you get right here and get the shot… [LeBron] said, ‘Absolutely not,’ grabs the clipboard, erases the play… I’ve never seen somebody draw up their own game-winner.”
Haywood would play for the Cavs for just one season, landing in Cleveland for the return of the prodigal son.
Interestingly enough, it completed a full circle moment for him as well as he was drafted by Cleveland (No. 20 overall) in 2001 but traded to the Orlando Magic for former NBA center Michael Doleac. Doleac, by the way, would play just one season with the Cavs while Haywood would be traded by the Magic (to the Washington Wizards) days later.
In any case, LeBron James was magnificent upon his return to Cleveland. In fact, many believe injuries to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were the only reason he didn’t win a championship in 2015.