Boomer Esiason: Spike Lee Situation Is Unfounded Drama

Super Fan Says Knicks Are Harassing Him

Boomer and Gio
March 04, 2020 - 8:36 am

There's arguably no Knicks fan more notable and recognizable than director Spike Lee. 

Often sitting courtside in a Knicks jersey or hat, Lee has continuously shown his support for the lackluster Knicks for roughly two decades. Lee, however, announced he'd sit the rest of the season out due to a recent incident at Madison Square Garden, where he was no longer permitted to use his normal entrance. 

A video circulated showing a frustrated Lee arguing with security for using an entrance meant for media and MSG employees ahead of Monday's game. The situation led to both parties, Lee and the Knicks, clashing in the wake of the incident. WFAN's Boomer Esiason says the situation between Lee and the Knicks is "unfounded drama." 

"Is he a MSG employee? Is he a media member? No. He's a paying fan," Esiason said. "He pays a lot of money for his tickets and he's a dyed-in-the-wool Knick fan. We all know that because we see him in his orange and his uniform on. Hell, I even saw him on the corner of Madison and 36th and I picked him up one day and I took him all the way up to Barney's. It's hard to miss Spike Lee when he's standing around.

"I get it, he wants special privileges," Esiason added. "He wants to be able to walk through an area where most people don't walk through, fans don't walk through. Maybe he doesn't want to be bothered by fans who go to see his movies and buy his movies so he can become a millionaire and sit in those seats."

Esiason, a Rangers fan, often makes appearances at Madison Square Garden. He recounted occasions when he went though the wrong entrance but was directed elsewhere with the guidance of arena employees. Esiason feels the situation could've been avoided and de-escalated if Lee used the designated entrance celebrities and other notable personnel use throughout the year. 

"For him to act like the way he acted ... the mindset is so idiotic to me that you can just walk into the VIP entrance on 33rd (Street) side, go into that elevator, go up to the fifth floor, get out, and your seats are right there," Esiason said. "It's idiotic. It sounds to me like he wants special treatment because he's Spike Lee. ... Then he drags Charles Oakley into this whole thing and that's how I'm going to be treated. I'm sorry, man. What makes you any different than the rest of us? Just go to the game. Have a good time and enjoy yourself. We appreciate that you're a Knick fan, but to create this kind of drama is ridiculous."

Jerry Recco, filling in for Gregg Giannatti, believes Lee's anger with the organization will leave its mark on future free agents who will likely be hesitant to play for the Knics.

"It creates another storyline that's not going to be good for recruiting players," Recco said. "(Knicks president) Leon Rose coming in, how do you change things? A star athlete sees this and that's a problem in terms of getting them here. It just is, whether we like it or not, it's a problem."

Lee discussed the incident when he appeared on ESPN's "First Take." The 62-year-old, who invested nearly $10 million into season tickets over the years, claims Knicks owner James Dolan is harassing him for an unknown reason. The Knicks released a statement in wake of Lee's television appearance calling his recount "laughable."

"It is ridiculous," Esiason added. "It's not even a thing, and it shouldn't be a thing. But of course since, it's a Knick thing and a Jim Dolan thing. I can't for the life of me think that Jim Dolan went to his security people and said, 'Hey, look, don't let Spike Lee in the building this way.' I got to believe that was unintentional, and I have to believe that if he wants to come in that way again, he'll be allowed to because he's Spike Lee."