Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has revealed that he overruled the play call set by coach David Blatt ahead of hitting his buzzer-beating game-winner against the Chicago Bulls.
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Talk throughout the season has revolved around the Blatt-LeBron relationship, with the player seen taking over timeouts to discuss plays with his teammates as Blatt watches on.
Many believe that the power balance is firmly in favour of the two-time NBA champion, and has been ever since he opted to return to Cleveland last summer.
Based on these comments after Game 4 against the Bulls on Sunday, it appears as though James scratched Blatt’s call for him to take the in-bounds pass and instead inserted himself into the play.
It worked out pretty well considering that James hit the game-winner to tie the series after receiving the ball and nailing the jumper over Jimmy Butler, but it does raise questions over Blatt’s authority over this team.
“To be honest, the play that was drawn up, I scratched it. And I told coach, ‘Just give me the ball. Either it’s going to overtime or I’m going to win it for us.’ It was that simple,” James told reporters after the game, Pro Basketball Talk noted.
“I told coach there’s no way I’m taking the ball out unless I could shoot it over the backboard and go in. So, I told him to have somebody else take the ball out and get out of the way.”
In many ways it would appear the sensible thing to do anyway with James taking the last shot of the game, and Blatt conceded that it was a great play in his own interview.
As a result, the Cavs will move forward with the momentum back in their favour, but it remains to be seen what happens in Game 5 of this memorable series.