If NBA basketball had a boogeyman, it’d be Charles Oakley.
For 19 seasons, the former Virginia Union Panther not only bruised and bullied his opponents in the paint, but was notorious for doing the exact same thing off the court. So when the retired NBA great got into a scuffle with Madison Square Garden security at a Knicks game in 2017, it wasn’t exactly a surprise.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is iconic filmmaker and Knicks superfan Spike Lee, whose rabid fandom has been a constant presence courtside for decades. Who can forget the Do the Right Thing director and NBA hall of famer Reggie Miller barking on each other year after year during the NBA playoffs? Or Michael Jordan bidding farewell to Lee after destroying the Knicks for the umpteenth time during the 1996 Eastern Conference semifinals?
But while animated, the Academy Award-winning director isn’t exactly known for getting into heated confrontations or putting hands on people; though that apparently changed on Monday night.
CBS Sports reports that before the Knicks surprised the shit out of everybody—by beating the Rockets 125-123 behind a career-high 27-point outburst from rookie RJ Barrett—Lee had a bit of difficulty getting into the arena.
In the explosive clip, Lee can be heard yelling, “No one told me!” and “You wanna arrest me like Charles Oakley, then go [the fuck] ahead!”
Is Lee trying to scrap with Knicks owner James Dolan? Is Oakley waiting to get tagged in so he can jump in the ring and exact his revenge against security? The hell is going on here?
According to the Knicks, it was merely a miscommunication. The man who gave us gems like Malcom X and Mo’ Better Blues wasn’t ejected from Madison Square Garden; he had simply attempted to use the wrong entrance into the arena.
Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and Spike was front and center in his courtside seats per usual as the Knicks beat the Rockets on Monday night.
If only Oakley could’ve been so lucky.