Another former New York Knicks player has come out in support of director and superfan Spike Lee in his simmering feud with the team.
This week, Lee got into a confrontation with a security guard as he was entering Madison Square Garden using an employee entrance that he has reportedly used for the last 28 years. Video of the confrontation went viral, and Lee then said he was boycotting the team. He has not returned for a game since then.
Since then, many have come out in support of Lee, including former Knicks star Stephon Marbury. While Marbury said he didn’t think it was that big of a deal that Lee had to go through a VIP entrance rather than one for employees, he said the team should have been willing to make concessions for their most famous fan.
“I mean, he just gotta go through a different door,” Marbury told the New York Post’s Page Six, “but at the same time, I think Spike always deserved the red-carpet treatment, because he spent millions — probably $10 million — on floor seats going to the Garden all these years. I think they will figure it out.”
Lee has been the team’s most high-profile fan for years, a fixture on the sidelines and sometimes even part of the action. That included a long rivalry with Indiana Pacers star Reggie Miller, which included Miller flashing a “choke” sign at Lee after he scored 25 points in the fourth quarter of Game 5 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, leading the Pacers to a win over the Knicks.
Marbury is now the second former Knicks star to criticize the team for its treatment of the Do The Right Thing director. Chris Childs, who helped lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1999, said he hates to see how the reputation of the team has taken such a major hit.
“This has to stop because it’s starting to be the laughingstock of the league,” Childs told TMZ Sports. “And, I hate to see that.”
Knicks fans also seem to be siding with Lee, at least in his decision to boycott the team this year. As Newsweek reported, the first game of Lee’s boycott was the lowest-attended in 14 years. The Knicks drew only 16,588 fans for a loss to the Utah Jazz, the fewest number of fans in Madison Square Garden since a game in December, 2006.
The Knicks are near the bottom of the league this season with a 19-44 record.