Spike Lee calls out Knicks owner James Dolan after entrance drama: ‘I’m being harassed’

Spike Lee is the most famous Knicks fan in the world. He has been seen consistently attending their games and sitting courtside for nearly three decades. But on Monday night, he had a bit of an issue getting inside Madison Square Garden.

While the above tweet speculates Lee was “denied entry,” the Knicks refuted that rumor in a statement Monday night. A Knicks spokesperson told the AP “it was simply an issue of Lee using the wrong entrance.”

Speaking Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take,” Lee called the statement “Garden spin.” Lee claimed Knicks owner James Dolan was harassing him, adding that he won’t go to any more Knicks games this season. However, despite his frustrations, he still won’t become a Nets fan.

Lee also provided his side of the story as to what happened with the entry drama Monday night.

“I’ve been using the same entrance for 20-plus years, the employee’s entrance on 33rd St. Last night, I go in, my ticket gets scanned. I’m in. I get in the elevator, and the elevator’s not moving. The security guy comes over and says, ‘We need you to get off the elevator.’ I say, ‘For what?’ I say, ‘I’m not getting out of the elevator.’ So they finally send the elevator up because they know I’m not getting out of the elevator. Get on the elevator, the Garden floor is on the fifth floor. The elevator goes up to five, and security’s waiting for me like I just ran out of Macy’s stealing something.

“The [security guy] says, ‘Mr. Lee, you have to leave Madison Square Garden. You have to leave the Garden, walk outside, and come back in on 31st St.’ And I said, ‘I’m not doing that.’ First of all, you scanned my ticket. You can’t scan a ticket twice. Also, I know once you leave a sporting arena, you can’t come back in. So I don’t trust these guys, so I’m not going for the okie-doke. So I said, ‘I’m not leaving.'”

The filmmaker told the “First Take” crew he put his hands behind his back and said, “Arrest me like my brother Charles Oakley.” After causing a scene, Lee says other staff members let him go up to the sixth floor and took him to his seat rather than making him walk outside and come back in.

Lee then says he had a chat with Dolan at halftime. Dolan essentially told Lee what the Knicks statement said, that he shouldn’t be using the employee’s entrance. But Lee isn’t buying it, saying it’s “made up.”

Lee was upset that the team changed the policy without informing him. When Lee told this to Dolan, he says the owner responded, “Now you know.”

Later in the interview, Lee states, “I’m being harassed by James Dolan, and I don’t know why.”

Lee estimates he spends $300,000 on Knicks tickets per year, which means he’s paid about $10 million over the course of nearly 30 years. When met with this realization, Lee said, “I look stupid now.”

While Lee says he won’t be going to any more Knicks game this season, he says he will return next season.

UPDATE: The Knicks released a statement about an hour after Lee’s appearance on “First Take.”

The statement reads: “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 prepetuate 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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