New York Knicks and Celebrity Fan at Odds After a Dispute

Published 03/04/2020, 1:20 PM EST
Jan 13, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Actor and director Spike Lee argues with an official during the fourth quarter between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Knicks 110-104. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


The New York Knicks sure know how to let it’s fans down. It has been three years after the Knicks fan favourite Charles Oakly was dragged out of the Garden, the team is in a war with superfan Spike Lee. Lee is a Hollywood director.

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New York Knicks: The Spike Lee dispute

Spike Lee is the world’s most famous Knicks fan. He has been faithfully sitting at courtside despite the team’s struggles in recent seasons. However, Lee told ESPN on Tuesday he would no longer attend games at Madison Square Garden this NBA season.

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“I’m coming back next year, but I’m done for the season,” Lee said. “I’m done.”

The altercation arose from a dispute over which entrance the Oscar-winning filmmaker was using to get into the arena. Lee was coming in through the employee and media entrance on 33rd Street; the team wanted him to use the VIP entrance on 31st Street. Lee eventually sat and enjoyed the game. He was speaking to owner James Dolan at halftime.

Lee’s comments came after video footage circulated on social media on Monday appearing to show the director in a confrontation with security at the venue. According to Lee, James Dolan ‘harassed’ him after a dispute with Garden security. This happened Monday night over being told to leave the building to use another entrance.

“I’ve been using the same entrance for 20-plus years,” Lee said.

The Knicks respond

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The Knicks responded to the suggestion Lee was treated unfairly.

“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 team said in a statement.

“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.”

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Maitreyee Joshi

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