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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Articles tagged: Spike Lee

Knicks draw smallest home crowd in over 13 years after Spike Lee incident

The New York Knicks found a new way to alienate one of their most recognizable supporters this week, and fans may have sent the team a message about the latest public relations disaster on Wednesday night.

Spike Lee unloaded on the Knicks earlier this week after the team confronted him over the entrance he was using at Madison Square Garden before Monday night’s game against the Houston Rockets. The famed director said during an appearance on ESPN that he is done attending games this year, and he kept his word by skipping Wednesday night’s game against the Utah Jazz. Spike wasn’t the only one who bailed, as the Knicks posted their lowest attendance number since December 2006.

The announced crowd on Wednesday night was 16,588. As Brian Mahoney of The Associate Press notes, that was the lowest attendance number for the Knicks since they drew 15,895 fans on Dec. 13, 2006. Madison Square Garden has a capacity of 19,812, so it was only 84 percent filled on Wednesday night.

There are obviously other factors that could lead to low attendance numbers for the Knicks. For starters, they have won just 19 games this year. Although, that excuse doesn’t really fly since they have had plenty of seasons that were just as bad or worse in the past 13 years. Some fans may also be choosing to stay home over coronavirus concerns, but it would not be a surprise if many others are angry over the way Lee was treated.

The Knicks say they asked Lee numerous times to stop using the employee entrance at MSG, and they called it “laughable” that he was painting himself as the victim. Spike claims he was never informed until a security guard confronted him on Monday, but does it really matter?

Lee spends around $300,000 per season on Knicks tickets and has been one of their most passionate supporters. Even if the team felt he was in the wrong, they should have released a statement saying it was a misunderstanding and that Spike is a valued member of the Knicks family. Instead, they chose to risk alienating him the way they did with Charles Oakley. That’s hardly a surprise given the team’s reputation under owner James Dolan, but it may now be costing New York some valuable ticket sales.

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.

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.

Spike Lee unloads on Knicks over incident involving which entrance he used

Rumors that Spike Lee had been banned from Madison Square Garden popped up on social media Monday night and were quickly squashed, but the famed film director says the incident was far more than just a simple misunderstanding over which entrance he had used to enter the arena.

A video on Twitter claimed to show Lee yelling “Nobody told me!” and making a reference to Charles Oakley, but Spike was later seen in his usual courtside seat. Reporters said the dispute was over Lee trying to enter Madison Square Garden using an employee entrance. Lee confirmed that was the case in an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” Tuesday morning, but he said he has been using the same entrance for nearly three decades and did not appreciate the way the Knicks went about confronting him.

“The security guy, this comes from the top, he says, ‘Mr. Lee, you have to leave Madison Square Garden,'” Lee explained. “They wanted me to leave the Garden, walk outside the 33rd Street employee entrance where I came from and come back on 31st street. I’m not doing that.”

Lee explained that he had already scanned his ticket to the event and knew you cannot scan a ticket twice. He said he didn’t trust that he would be allowed access back into the Garden once he left. Lee then told security he wasn’t leaving and put his hands behind his back and said, “Arrest me like my brother, Charles Oakley.” He was then taken to his seat another way by a security staffer with whom he is friendly.

“They’ve never said when (this policy) changed, so why not call me?” Lee said. “When my deposit’s due — with the astronomical price of Knicks tickets — and I’m one day late, my phone is ringing off the hook.”

At halftime, Lee says Knicks owner James Dolan came up to him and asked to speak with him. He told Dolan there was nothing to talk about. Lee also said he just used the same entrance at an MSG event last Wednesday, when 18,000 public school students got to see Broadway’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Spike added that he has been “coming through this entrance for 28 years.” He called the press release issued by the Knicks — which said Lee and Dolan were laughing together and shook hands — more “Garden spin” and said he is being harassed by Dolan.

Lee wasn’t kicked out or banned from Knicks games like some speculated, but the incident is yet another example of the poor relationship Dolan and the team have with their prominent fans and former players. Dolan has been at the center of numerous disputes with such supporters, and one led to a lawsuit with Oakley. Lee has been one of the Knicks’ biggest fans for years, and it sounds like he is fed up with Dolan like so many others.

Spike Lee video was about him using wrong entrance, not being banned by Knicks

Twitter was buzzing on Monday with rumors that Spike Lee had been banned by the Knicks after a video surfaced that showed him upset.

The video supposedly showed the famed film director yelling “Nobody told me!” and referencing Charles Oakley.

Although it was clear that man who was said to be Lee was very upset in the video, Lee was later shown sitting in his usual courtside seat at Madison Square Garden for the Knicks’ home game against the Houston Rockets.

A few reporters later shed some light on the subject, saying that the issue had to do with Lee using the wrong entrance.

Ian Begley says Lee was using an employee entrance.

The Knicks have received notoriously bad press for several years, and owner James Dolan has been at the center of numerous negative events, including his lawsuit with former Knick Charles Oakley. Given Dolan’s history, fans automatically assumed the worst, but it turns out things weren’t quite as bad as they were portrayed on social media.

Spike Lee jokes about Knicks during Oscars: ‘We’re trying to tank’

Spike Lee can’t even escape the New York Knicks during the Academy Awards.

Lee on Sunday night won his first Oscar, receiving the nod for Best Adapted Screenplay for his movie “BlacKkKlansman.” Prior to the announcement of the award, actor Samuel L. Jackson, who was presenting along with Brie Larson, made an announcement on TV to Spike, telling him that his beloved Knicks had broken their 18-game home losing streak with a 130-118 win over the San Antonio Spurs. News like that would ordinarily make a fan happy, but Lee shot back that the Knicks are “trying to tank.”

Nobody ever said Lee wasn’t a fan in the know. He understands the team’s goals, which is to land the major game-changer, not to mention potentially sign Kevin Durant.

Colin Kaepernick’s name misspelled in poster announcing rally for QB

Colin Kaepernick Castro

Spike Lee, one of the most outspoken advocates of social rights in Hollywood, passed along some information on Tuesday about a rally outside NFL headquarters in support of Colin Kaepernick that will be held later this month. But first, the event organizers should probably learn how to spell Kaepernick’s last name.

A poster Lee shared on Twitter shows Kaepernick and one of his former teammates kneeling during the national anthem, and the quarterback’s name is written in the background. You can clearly see that the first “E” is missing.

Lee noted that he is not the one hosting the event:

Lee knows a thing or two about making mistakes that involve Kaepernick. Remember the news Spike tried to break about Kaepernick earlier in the offseason that ended up being totally untrue?

You have to wonder how NFL teams will view the rally. Whether right or wrong, one of the reasons Kaepernick has not been signed is that teams don’t want a backup QB on their roster who is going to demand a ton of attention from the media. A rally outside NFL headquarters will only increase that exposure.