The Knicks called Spike Lee’s criticism of the team and James Dolan “laughable” after Lee took issue with how Madison Square Garden security treated him before a game Monday night. Lee said Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take” he was being “harassed by James Dolan.”
“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 Knicks 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 [Monday] night when they shook hands.”
Lee and Dolan spoke at halftime during Monday’s Knicks win over the Rockets, the first game of Leon Rose’s era as team president. The Knicks tweeted out two photos along with their statement. One photo included Dolan and Lee shaking hands, and another was a photo of the Garden entrance at 8 Penn Plaza, which says, “Entrance for employees, media and patrons with disabilities only.”
Lee, the 62-year-old Oscar winner and Knicks superfan, said the Knicks’ explanation that Lee tried to use the wrong entrance Monday was “Garden spin.” Lee says he’s used the same employee entrance on 33rd street since he became a season-ticket holder nearly 30 years ago.
Video surfaced Monday night of an altercation between Lee and Garden security in which Lee was upset because “no one told” him about any change in entrance policy. He told security, “You want to arrest me like Charles Oakley?” Oakley was thrown out of the Garden and arrested in Feb. 2017 after an incident with MSG security.