Former New York Knicks star Chris Childs is not happy with the way the team is handling the Spike Lee drama, saying the organization needs to bring an end to the feud with its most famous fan.
The 53-year-old, who helped lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1999, told TMZ Sports this week that the situation is reflecting very bad on the franchise.
“This has to stop because it’s starting to be the laughingstock of the league,” Childs said. “And, I hate to see that.”
Video that emerged on Tuesday showed the Do the Right Thing director yelling at a security guard at Madison Square Garden as he tried to enter the arena before a game. The next day, Lee appeared on a sports radio talk show to say that he was “done” with the team. As The Inquisitr reported, Lee said he was stopped from using an employee entrance into the arena that he has long used when going to games.
Reports noted that Knicks owner James Dolan had ordered staff not to allow Lee to use the entrance, and the director refused to speak to Dolan when he tried to discuss the situation at Tuesday’s game between the Knicks and Houston Rockets.
After Lee spoke out about the incident, the Knicks released a sharp statement saying that it was “laughable” for the director to consider himself a victim for being asked not to use an employee entrance.
Lee, a fixture on the sidelines at Knicks games, has since vowed not to return to the arena for any games this season. It was not clear if the rift could become permanent.
Childs told TMZ Sports that he believes the team should be more accommodating to Lee, who has been the Knicks’ most loyal fan for decades, supporting them even as they have struggled through many seasons near the bottom of the NBA standings.
“Spike Lee has been coming to these game forever,” Childs said. “If he wants to land a helicopter through the roof, let him!”
“He hasn’t done anything, but support that franchise when they’re at their lowest. So, how do you embarrass that man like that with your flashlight cops? Tell him he can’t use that entrance? And, that only comes from the top.”
The spat with Lee may have an effect on other fans. As Newsweek reported, the Knicks had the lowest attendance in more than a decade after the spat with the director, as only 16,588 fans attended a loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. That is the worst single-game attendance figure recorded since December 2006.