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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Knicks fire back at Spike Lee, call it ‘laughable’ he is painting himself as victim

The New York Knicks have no intention of apologizing or expressing regret over the incident involving Spike Lee before Monday night’s game — at least not yet.

Lee unloaded on the Knicks during an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” Tuesday morning, explaining that the team suddenly wanted to stop him from using an entrance at Madison Square Garden that he has been using for 28 years. The famed director said no one from the team informed him ahead of time that he needed to start coming into MSG a different way, and he said he is being “harassed” by Knicks owner James Dolan.

The Knicks say Lee’s account of what happened is inaccurate. In a statement, the team accused Lee of creating a “false controversy to perpetuate drama” and called it “laughable” that he is painting himself as a victim. The team claims Lee has been asked numerous times to stop using the employee entrance at MSG to get into games.

The statement says Lee shook hands with Dolan on Monday and agreed to no longer use the employee entrance, but Lee gave a different account of his interaction with the Knicks owner. He said during his ESPN appearance that he told Dolan the two have nothing to talk about when Dolan approached him.

Lee is one of the Knicks’ most recognizable fans. He spends around $300,000 per year on his season tickets, and he said Tuesday that the team is quick to call him when his deposit is a day late but never bothered to ask him not to use the employee entrance at MSG. Lee also says he put his hands behind his back at the Garden on Monday night and told security to arrest him like his brother Charles Oakley.

Of course, the Knicks have not earned the benefit of the doubt in these types of situations. Dolan and the team are known for having a poor relationship with their most prominent fans, and the infamous incident with Oakley led to a lawsuit being filed.

Like with the Oakley incident, the Knicks don’t seem to understand that fans are going to side with Lee no matter what happened. Rather than trying to put the story to rest and apologizing for a misunderstanding, they’re going to fuel yet another public relations disaster.

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