OPINION: The New York Knicks Are a Mess and It Shouldn’t Be Ignored Anymore
The ever-evolving drama surrounding the New York Knicks received another huge blow this week, as famous film director and avid fan of the team, Spike Lee, has announced he is done coming to the game for the rest of the season.
This announcement comes after an altercation between Lee and Madison Square Garden security on Tuesday, the night of the Knicks’ 125-123 victory over the Houston Rockets. A video surfaced of the altercation, showing Lee getting frustrated and yelling at security by an elevator, leading many to believe he had been kicked out of the arena. This proved to be untrue with Lee being seen later in the game in his usual seats, talking with team owner, James Dolan. The conflict came on the first night of the team’s new president, Leon Rose.
Lee went on the next day to explain that the altercation was a result of security asking him to use a different entrance than the one he had been using for more than two decades. Security asked him to leave the arena and use an entrance over two blocks away, after having already scanned his ticket and let him through security.
Now, Charles Oakley, a former player for the team and who had his own altercation with security in 2017, when he was arrested at a game, has spoken out about the issue. Oakley has this to say,”The NBA has got to take a look at this. You can’t keep closing your eyes to this. This is like, turn your head if you see someone beat somebody up and you just keep walking.”
Oakley ended up suing Dolan and Madison Square Garden over their altercation, but the case ended up being dismissed last month. He has been an outspoken critic of the team.
The Knicks have a real problem on their hands. It’s not enough that the team is just bad, becoming a laughing stock in the league, but now, you have ostracized one of the team’s most public and stalwart fans. Spike Lee has remained in his court-side season tickets for years now, and he has always gone to games despite the team’s success. Now you have one of the most loyal fans deciding they want nothing to do with you or the team for the rest of the season.
Dolan seems to be lashing out even the smallest hint of criticism over the organization or team, which is a terrible look. You have to acknowledge that the team has continually failed for years now, and that you have failed to build something worthwhile in your tenure as owner. Having these kinds of public altercations isn’t going to help. Perhaps Lee should not have reacted the way he did, but as owner, you have to take responsibility for your actions and shortcomings. The fanbase is tired of it and so is the rest of the league.
It is important to note that Lee said he will be back for next season, but even so, it’s time to fox this thing now. Maybe Dolan will finally listen to what everyone else has been telling him.