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Spike Lee’s beef with the Knicks, explained

The Knicks have done it again.

The Knicks and Spike Lee have one of the most recognizable team-celebrity unions in all of professional sports, but something happened Monday that soured their relationship.

What should have been a banner evening for the Knicks after beating the Rockets on the back of a standout performance by rookie RJ Barrett soon got overshadowed by the beginning of the evening.

Initially all we knew was there was an altercation between Lee and Knicks staff members. Later in the evening the Knicks issued a statement to the press calling it a “misunderstanding” over which entrance Lee is to use upon entering Madison Square Garden, but then it got a lot more complicated.

What is Lee saying?

Lee entered Madison Square Garden through the 33rd Street employee entrances, which he claims he’s been using for over two decades. The director said he had his ticket scanned, and entered the arena as usual, until he was stopped at the elevator by security who demanded he leave the arena, and re-enter through the 31st Street entrance, which the Knicks say is used by VIPs on a regular basis. Security argued with him about whether he should leave and re-enter the arena, at which point he says he put his hands behind is back, stating “Arrest me just like you did my brother Charles Oakley.”

At this Lee says security offered to escort him to his seat, which he accepted. Knicks owner James Dolan allegedly approached him at halftime asking to speak to Lee about the incident, which he rejected.

Lee said he is being harassed by Dolan, and is unsure why.

What are the Knicks saying?

In response to Lee’s appearance on First Take, the Knicks issued an expanded statement, which contradicted their initial claim it was a misunderstanding and accused Lee of playing the victim in the incident.

The statement claims Lee is welcome to come to games as normal, but added he is not permitted to use the 33rd Street entrance anymore. Lee has not expanded on the incident at this time, and it’s unclear if this is the last we’ll hear of the altercation between Lee and the Knicks. However, some former players are rallying around Lee.

This is all so Knicks.

Stumbling over themselves on what should otherwise be a happy evening and making everyone forget they had some success because of an unforced error and unnecessary distraction — it’s all a giant, dumb mess.

But, then again, so are the Knicks.