Spike Lee irate over Patrick Ewing being hassled at Madison Square Garden

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee (Photo by Derrel Johnson of Steed Media Service)
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee (Photo by Derrel Johnson for rolling out)

Retired New York Knick Patrick Ewing visited his old Madison Square Garden stomping grounds this week as the now Georgetown Hoyas head coach was in New York with his team competing for the Big East title.

While in the stadium, Ewing was accosted on Thursday, March 11 by security guards who didn’t know who the legendary ballplayer was, although his jersey hangs in the rafters after playing with the Knicks for 15 years.


“I do want to say one thing. I thought this was my building. And I feel terrible that I’m getting stopped, accosted, and asked for passes. Everybody in this building should know who the hell I am. And I’m getting stopped, I can’t move around this building and I’m like, ‘What the hell? Is this Madison Square Garden?’ I’m going to have to call Mr. Dolan and say, ‘Geez, is my name in the rafters or what?’” queried Ewing in a press conference that evening.

Spike Lee, a devoted Knicks fan also weighed in on the disrespect.


“I’m not blaming this on [James] Dolan,” Lee said referring to the Knicks owner and Madison Square Garden Sports and Madison Square Garden Entertainment executive chairman of MSG Networks for ESPN’s “First Take.”

“There has to be something just wrong at Madison Square Garden. Can any of you imagine Derek Jeter being stopped entering Yankee Stadium? Magic Johnson being stopped entering the Staples Center? Michael Jordan – the G.O.A.T. – being stopped entering the United Center? WTF!”

Lee also refused to concede that it was a mistake or that security may have been born after the legend surpassed his prime.

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