This is it. The most famous Knicks fan has flown the coop. It’s over, New York. Shut it down. Head to Brooklyn. The Knicks are no longer worth it.
It’s over, New York. This is rock bottom.
For those of you who are unaware, Spike Lee announced earlier this week that he would not be attending another Knicks home game at Madison Square Garden this year. Spike’s declaration, which took place on ESPN’s First Take, came after an altercation with MSG security and Knicks owner James Dolan. According to Spike, after having his ticket scanned at the employee/media entrance on 33rd street, he was asked to get off the elevator heading towards the garden floor. The issue with Spike stemmed from his usage of the 33rd street entrance. After Spike got off the elevator on the fifth floor, MSG security asked Spike to leave the Garden and use the entrance on 31st street.
Spike refused to leave the Garden and was then escorted to his seat by security. At halftime, Dolan crossed the court and approached Lee who asked him why he was being hassled about the entrance. According to Spike, Dolan told him they “needed to talk” to which he responded, “I don’t wanna talk about nothing. I’ve been coming through this entrance for 28 years.”
Spike then explained that earlier that same week he entered through the same entrance for the performance of “To Kill A Mockingbird” that was put on for 18,000 public school kids at MSG. Going further, the Academy Award winner made the point that no one ever brought the issue to his attention prior to the incident. “When I’m a day late on my ticket deposit, my phone is ringing off the hook. I didn’t get a text, a call, an e-mail… and Dolan says to me [during the halftime meeting], ‘well, now you know.”
Lee then finished the first segment of his First Take interview by telling Max Kellerman, “I have never asked for any ‘celebrity anything.’ I don’t try to get on the JumboTron. I just come to enjoy myself. “
The most famous Knicks fan, the one who has stuck with this team for the last 28 years, despite their downfall over the last two decades, got booted from the Garden. Unreal. How are you gonna be so rude to a guy who was part of the pitch to bring LeBron James to New York after he left Cleveland for the first time? You’re gonna drop the hammer on him? No way.
Whether it’s his support of Charles Oakley, who was also rudely sent out of Madison Square Garden by Dolan, or something else completely, there is absolutely no reason to be singling out your team’s biggest fan, for what? Using an employee entrance?
Let’s walk through this thought process too. Over the last 28 years, Spike Lee has spent over $9 million dollars on his court-side seats. That’s a lot of money. Spike is also a massive celebrity, and you know he’s coming every night. Therefore letting him come through a secure entrance is paramount to the safety of Spike, his guests, and other Knicks fans. Why would Dolan put Spike in harm’s way like that?
Well, let’s take a look at the Knicks’ Statement about the incident:
“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 statement from Madison Square Garden read. “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 [James Dolan] agreed to last night when they shook hands.”
James Dolan doesn’t care about Knicks fans. Flat out. If you’re a Knicks fan, and you’re still hanging onto this team, ask yourself if James Dolan cares about this team as much as you do.
I’d bet that he does not.
Time and time again we’ve seen James Dolan run this team and this organization into the ground and for what? Another losing season? Another failed attempt to regain the glory of the old Knicks? Across the river, a competitor is growing. The Brooklyn Nets will have Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant suiting up nightly at the Barclays Center. Two legitimate superstars, on a team playing just a few train stops away. And they’re a playoff team this year without Durant.
Meanwhile, the Knicks are trotting out Taj Gibson and Dubious Handles (Julius Randle) to eat minutes while Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett attempt to figure out where they’ll play once free agency comes their way.
If you can look beyond the Porzingis trade, the Charles Oakley arrest, the missed opportunities in Free Agency, and now the ousting of Spike Lee, I have to tip my hat to you, imaginary Knicks fan. That’s a lot of blows to withstand for such little payoff.
So how did Knick fans respond to Spike’s treatment? The very next home game, against the playoff-contending Utah Jazz, had 16,588 fans in attendance. That’s the smallest Knicks crowd in over 13 seasons.
To those Knick fans looking for an escape, come find solace and peace across the Brooklyn Bridge. We promise we won’t kick you out.
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