Spike Lee reacts to Knicks statement: ‘Laughingstock of the league’
Spike Lee and the New York Knicks are embroiled in a contentious dispute over an incident that occurred at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, and each party appears inclined to add fuel to the fire.
The situation stems from a disagreement over Lee allegedly being ordered to use a different entrance ahead of Monday’s tilt against the Houston Rockets. Lee has since insisted he has been using that particular entrance for decades, though he was ultimately escorted to his customary courtside seat by security after a disagreement with arena staff was captured on video.
Lee gave his side of the story during an appearance Tuesday morning on ESPN’s “First Take,” during which the Knicks superfan said he was “harassed and I don’t know why.”
Spike Lee joined @firsttake to explain last night's incident at MSG. pic.twitter.com/xsjGHApDqH— ESPN (@espn) March 3, 2020
Not content to leave well enough alone and avoid yet another embarrassing PR disaster, the Knicks then fired off a terse statement accusing Lee of being totally in the wrong and calling into question how the famed director is portraying himself as the victim in the situation.
New York Knicks Statement on Spike Lee pic.twitter.com/19JcvhFKO7— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) March 3, 2020
This only made Lee — who already stated he would not be attending any further Knicks home games this season — that much more irate over the incident.
Speaking via phone with with Sopan Deb of The New York Times, Lee unloaded again on the Knicks, specifically regarding the context of an exchange he had with Knicks owner James Dolan after the incident.
Lee says that at halftime, he told Dolan that he was never told that there was a new policy about entering the arena.— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) March 3, 2020
Dolan said "very rudely," according to Lee – "Now, you know."
Lee then delivered a devastating blow regarding the woeful state of the once-esteemed NBA franchise.
“What’s laughable is how the Knicks are the laughingstock of the league in sports,” Lee added. “That’s what’s f—-g laughable.”
"Anything the Knicks say, it’s going to be a lie. I challenge you to get the answers. I want Madison Square Garden to produce an email before I arrived at the Garden yesterday saying, 'Mr. Lee, you could no longer use the employee entrance."…."It never happened."— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) March 3, 2020
Deb proceeded to share the entirety of Lee’s lengthy comments on the matter in a series of tweets. Suffice to say, it seems like bridges have been burned, perhaps irreparably.
Under Dolan’s leadership, the Knicks have been arguably the most dysfunctional organization in all of professional sports. Going to war with one of the team’s most recognizable fans — not to mention one who has loyally supported the team without question during an agonizing run of ineptitude — obviously is not a good look for the Knicks.
Then again, the entire Lee debacle could be chalked up to business as usual when it comes to the Knicks franchise.