AceShowbiz - Spike Lee told his side of story of what really happened after a viral video showed he was barred from entering Madison Square Garden, Monday night, March 2 to watch New York Knicks' game. On ESPN's "First Take", the legendary filmmaker said he was being harassed by Knicks' owner James Dolan.
The Knicks insisted they didn't block the director but redirected him because he used the employee entrance. The helmer defended himself, claiming he had been using the same entrance for 28 years and no one said anything before it became an issue. "They have my phone number. Text, email, let me know... When did this policy change? If I'm a day late with my deposit my phone rings," he said.
When the host mentioned Lee had spent almost $300K a year on season tickets and given them almost $10M over 30 years, the director said, "I look stupid now." The Knicks superfan, wearing the team's beanie during the interview, said he would not be coming back for another Knicks game this season but would return to watch their game next year.
In the viral video during confrontation at the MSG entrance, the director yelled, "No one told me. No one told me. I'm staying here." He added, "Now, if you want to arrest like Charles Oakley, go the f*** ahead," referring to a 2017 incident when former Knicks star Oakley was forcibly removed from the game at the MSG. Back then, Oakley was accused of attacking security guards after he previously heckled the Knicks' owner Dolan.
The Knicks responded, "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."
"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 comments on social media were varied. Some supported Spike Lee. "If I've paid 10M for anything I'm using whatever door I want," one wrote. Another commented, "Oh wow. So he been using the same entrance for 30 years and now the confusion was finally an issue. That's why Spike like what's going on."
Some others criticized him. "Some people think they special," one scoffed. Another penned, "Just don't use the employee entrance ...if that was really the reason."
There were also people that scrutinized the statement issued by the Knicks. "Their statement is bulls**t too. Seems personal," one commented, prompting someone to reply, "Right 'laughable' ?? Who speaks like that on behalf of a company." Another agreed, "That statement was beyond unprofessional."
Meanwhile, some others were perplexed with Spike Lee's love for the team. "Knicks sucks I don't know how he sit in front row every season to watch them lose your loyal sir," one said. Another chimed in, "That's probably why they really mad, they said he be sitting there criticizing the plays and stuff."