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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Spike Lee believes photo of him shaking James Dolan’s hand was a setup

The situation between Spike Lee and the New York Knicks is getting more awkward by the hour.

Lee was involved in a bizarre incident with Knicks security prior to Monday night’s game at Madison Square Garden. A video originally surfaced on social media that appeared to show the famed director upset with MSG security about something, and Lee shared his side of the story on Tuesday. Lee unloaded on the Knicks during an ESPN appearance and said they confronted him about using the employee entrance to enter games at the Garden, which is something he said he had done without issue the previous 28 years.

That sparked a back-and-forth between Lee and the Knicks, with the team quickly releasing a statement calling it “laughable” that Lee was painting himself as the victim. The Knicks claim they asked Lee to stop using the employee entrance several times and claimed Lee and Knicks owner James Dolan discussed the situation on Monday night and shook hands. Lee said on ESPN that no such pleasantry was exchanged, but a photo shared by the Knicks proved otherwise.

After the photo was released, Lee admitted that his “head was spinning” and he forgot about shaking Dolan’s hand. However, he told Sopan Deb of the New York Times that he believes the camera angle of the photo proves it was a “set up” from the Knicks, who may have already been trying to do damage control.

Much like the infamous incident between Dolan and Charles Oakley, the Knicks are so caught up in trying to be “right” that they are making themselves look bad. Even if they’re telling the truth about asking Lee multiple times to use a different entrance at the Garden, they should know that fans are going to side with Spike. All they had to do was release a statement saying there was an unfortunate misunderstanding and that Lee is a valued member of the Knicks family, and the situation would not have blown up this much.

Dolan has been at the center of numerous disputes with prominent Knicks fans and former players, and one led to a lawsuit with Oakley. The way the team is handling the latest is once again an embarrassment.

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