Spike Lee is calling BS on the New York Knicks’ explanation of why he was denied entry into Monday’s game against the Houston Rockets.
Sitting down with ESPN’s First Take, the famed director labeled the team’s statement, which claimed the die-hard Knicks fan used the wrong entrance while trying to get to his seat, “Garden spin” and that he’s “being harrassed by (Knicks owner) James Dolan and I don’t know why.”
“I never said I was thrown out of the arena. I don’t know how that got in there. This is all Garden spin,” Lee said. “Look, it was a terrible experience. When I went home (Monday) night, in the cab I said I’m gonna let it chill.”
He continued: “Then my son read me the statement by the Garden, I said, nah. It’s a lie. It’s spin.”
Lee, who was in his customary courtside seat by game time, argued that he’s used that same employee entrance on 33rd Street for nearly 30 years as a season ticket-holder and wasn’t told of any policy change.
Lee says he had his ticket stand but was then asked by a security guard to step off the elevator that takes people to the event level on the fifth floor.
“I go up to 5, and security was waiting for me like I just ran out of Macy’s stealing something,” he said. “The security guy says, and this comes from the top, ‘Mr. Lee, you have to leave Madison Square Garden.’ They wanted me to leave and walk outside, out to 33rd Street entrance that I came in and come back on 31st Street (at the VIP entrance). I said I’m not doing that.
“First of all, you scanned my ticket, you can’t scan it twice,” Lee added. “And I know once you leave a sporting event, you can’t come back in. I don’t trust these guys, so I’m not going for the okey-doke. So I said I’m not leaving. ‘We want you to leave the Garden.’ So I put my hands behind my back and I said arrest me like my brother Charles Oakley.”
Oakley has been banned from the Knicks arena since February 2017, when an incident caused him to be tossed out of Madison Square Garden and arrested after an altercation with arena security.
The Knicks have yet to publicly respond to Spike Lee’s appearance on First Take.
New York Knicks diehard fan, Spike Lee got into a confusing exchange with the NBA team prior to the tip-off between the Knicks and Houston Rockets on Monday (March 2).
Lee was reportedly denied access to the famed arena when he walked to the wrong entrance, according to CBS Sports.
The incident was posted on Twitter.
“No one told me!” says Lee. “I’m staying right here. Now if you want to arrest me like Charles Oakley, then go ahead.”
Lee was referencing the time when former Knicks player Charles Oakley was kicked out of a game in 2017 after getting into an argument with a fan courtside. Oakley was forcibly moved from the arena, placed in handcuffs and arrested.
In Lee’s case, the Knicks said that was just a miscommunication that got out of hand. He was in his seat by the start of the first quarter and MSG officials report that he was never ejected and the issue was immediately resolved.
(Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images)