An incident involving Lee denying him entry into a Knicks game causes controversy
By: Danny Cacace
Spike Lee who has been a life-long and avid Knicks fan for over 30 years was denied entry by a security guard to a Knicks game on March 2nd’s game between the Knicks and the Houston Rockets because he was going through the employee entrance which he has been going through for 28 years.
Lee is also a academy award winning filmmaker and has made many films for about over 30 years. Lee recently won best adapted screenplay for his film BlacKkKlansman that came out in 2018.
Lee recently spoke on ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday to talk about his side of the story about what happened at MSG on Monday.
“Mr. Lee, you have to leave the garden,” Lee told First Take’s Stephen A. Smith about what the security guard told Lee when the security guard made him leave the elevator to enter The Garden floor. “I said I’m not leaving. They said we want you to leave The Garden. I put my hands behind my back and I said arrest me like my brother Charles Oakley.”
Lee also mentioned on First Take that he felt he was harassed by owner of the Knicks, James Dolan due to the policy for him to enter through the employee entrance changed. He didn’t know why it changed so suddenly without Lee’s notice, but Lee felt he was being duped by Dolan.
The following day after the Spike Lee incident, the New York Knicks released a press statement.
“The idea that Spike Lee is a victim because we have repeatedly asked him to not use our employee entrance and instead use a dedicated VIP entrance — which is used by every other celebrity who enters The Garden — is laughable,” The press release stated about the Lee incident. “It’s disappointing that Spike would create this false controversy to perpetuate drama. He is welcome to come to The Garden anytime via the VIP or general entrance; just not through our employee entrance, which is what he and Jim agreed to last night when they shook hands.”
The Knicks PR also released a photo of Dolan and Lee shaking hands on Twitter.
Lee stated on First Take as well that he spends about $300,000 a year on two Knicks season tickets which totals up to $10 million spent on Knicks tickets throughout his life, and that he’s never asked for any celebrity extra such as being put on the jumbotron. He just goes there to enjoy himself and he pretty much wants to be seen as a regular fan at the games.
“Not this year,” When asked by Stephen A. Smith on First Take if he’s coming back to a Knicks game this year. “I’m coming back next year, but I’m done for the season. I’m done.”
This incident also happened on the day the Knicks got their new president of basketball operations in Leon Rose. Rose is a former sports agent prior to being the president of the Knicks where he represented well-known NBA players such as Allen Iverson, Lebron James, and the list goes on.
Can this just be a coincidence? The coincidence being that the Knicks signing Rose as the president of basketball operations, the same day that Lee gets kicked out of The Garden. Well, that is entirely up for debate.
All I know and that many other true Knicks fans know is that Lee should have his own designated seat when he attends Knicks games at The Garden at this point. As for entering through the employee entrance, well again, that can be up for debate as well.
Hopefully one day, the Knicks resolve this issue with Lee so that way there are no more situations involving Lee and the Knicks going forward.