David Blatt had probably his worst three minutes as a head coach at any level Sunday when he tried to call a timeout his Cavaliers didn’t have, and then inexplicably tried to draw up a play in the huddle where the best basketball player on the planet was going to take the ball out of bounds with less than :01 left.
The referees will take some heat for missing Blatt’s attempted timeout, but Cleveland’s rookie coach is going to be crucified all day on the web, radio and TV for not drawing up a play for LeBron. (LeBron changed the play and made the game-winning shot, and the series is tied at 2).
You know who else tried to draw-up a last second play where the best player on the planet took the ball out of bounds?
And the player was Michael Jordan.
It’s been written about often, but when Michael Jordan made his iconic shot over Craig Ehlo 25 years ago, Doug Collins actually drew up a play … for center Dave Corzine. Via the Sam Smith’s book, The Jordan Rules:
Collins called time-out, gathered everyone in a tight circle, and began to draw a play for Dave Corzine. “Everyone started to look around,” recalled back-up forward Jack Haley, who would call the moment the most thrilling of his life. “Doug could see everyone sort of frowning, and he started to explain that they wouldn’t be expecting Corzine to get the ball. Michael just slammed his fist down on the clipboard and said, ‘Give me the fuckin’ ball.’
You guys know what ended up happening to Doug Collins in Chicago, right?
As a sidenote: LeBron and Michael Jordan have now both made the same number of game-winning, buzzer-beating playoff shots: Three.