Director Spike Lee went ballistic Monday after being denied entry to Madison Square Garden, where his beloved New York Knicks hosted the Houston Rockets. And there’s video (see below).
Lee, who won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for “BlacKkKlansman” in 2019, erupted after he attempted to use the arena entrance reserved for employees and the media and was stopped cold by security, the New York Post reported, citing an unnamed source. (Lee was supposed to use the VIP entrance.)
In the video, Lee can be heard yelling. “No one told me,” he repeats. “I’m staying here. And if you wanna arrest me like Charles Oakley, go the fuck ahead.”
Oakley, a former Knicks player, was ejected as a spectator from a 2017 game after yelling comments critical of team owner James Dolan and scuffling with security guards. He was later arrested by the NYPD.
On Monday, Lee did eventually take his seat. Dolan spoke with the famed filmmaker at halftime to “resolve the issue,” the New York Daily News reported, citing a source.
Lee had to have been happy with what happened on the court. The lowly Knicks stunned the Rockets, 125-123.
Here’s Lee reacting to the game courtside on Monday.
Sheriff’s deputies are entrusted to protect and serve our communities, but it would appear that an undisclosed number of them have violated that trust, according to a statement released by Vanessa Bryant and her attorney, Gary C. Robb.
In response to reports that Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies leaked graphic photos of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, 13-year-old Gianna “Gigi” Bryant and seven others, Vanessa aired out those responsible in a scathing letter written by Robb that she posted on Instagram.
“Our client, Vanessa Bryant, is absolutely devastated by allegations that deputies from the Lost Hills Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department publicly disseminated photos from the helicopter crash site,” the statement said. “First responders should be trustworthy. It is inexcusable and deplorable that some deputies from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, other surrounding substations and LACOFD would allegedly breach their duty.”
The letter continued, “This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families. We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated.”
Bryant and Robb are requesting an Internal Affairs investigation into these alleged incidents.
On Friday, the Los Angeles Times broke the news that first responders at the scene of the crash had been sharing photos outside of official business, with TMZ reporting that this included a deputy trainee sharing photos at a bar in order to “impress a girl.” A bartender allegedly overhead this conversation and filed an online complaint with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in disgust. And in attempt to keep this matter under wraps, the Sheriff’s Department then ordered deputies to delete any pictures from the crash.
“Every police department struggles with the same thing, where people take photos and they’re not evidence,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva told the Times. “So that’s a practice we have to make sure that everyone walks away, and there is no evidence other than the official photos of evidence that are taken for criminal purposes.”
In the statement, Robb further revealed that the mother of four visited the sheriff’s office immediately following the crash on Jan. 26 and requested that the area be guarded from photographers and designated as a “no-fly zone.”
In its own statement issued on Friday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that Villanueva was “deeply disturbed at the thought deputies could allegedly engage in such an insensitive act” and announced that “a thorough investigation will be conducted by the department, with the No. 1 priority of protecting the dignity and privacy of the victims and their families.”
No high-fives. Limit physical interactions with fans.
“The coronavirus remains a situation with the potential to change rapidly,” the memo reportedly reads.
With much still unknown about the virus other than its propensity to spread, the NBA is encouraging players to take basic precautions to limit physical contact with other people.
The memo suggests that instead of high-fiving fans, players instead get into the habit of fist bumps. It also encourages players to decline handling objects such as balls and pens for autograph requests.
It’s a measure Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has already implemented.
Handshakes on the way out?
The fist-bump advice echoes that of experts who have encouraged the general public to eschew handshakes amid the spread of the coronavirus.
“We cannot hermetically seal the United States,’’ U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said at a Monday news conference in Connecticut. “We’re encouraging communities to think about the steps they can take to limit spread within communities to mitigate the effects of the virus.’’
Adams encouraged people to greet each other with elbow bumps instead of handshakes and sing “Happy Birthday” while washing their hands to make sure they spend enough to to get properly clean.
An NBA statement provided to the Associated Press on Sunday noted that the league was working with experts to come up with a strategy.
“The health and safety of our employees, teams, players and fans is paramount,” the statement reads. “We are coordinating with our teams and consulting with the CDC and infectious disease specialists on the coronavirus and continue to monitor the situation closely.”
Will the coronavirus keep you from attending NBA and other public events?