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Thunder: Chris Paul supports Spike Lee with message on his shoes

Scrawled across the white midsole of Chris Paul’s basketball shoes were four words: “Do The Right Thing!”

That was the message Paul wore onto the court at Madison Square Garden Friday, as a nod to famous filmmaker and Knicks superfan Spike Lee.

“I done known Spike for a while, man," Paul said after the Thunder's  126-103 win over the Knicks. "Shoot, I talked to Spike a couple days ago actually looking forward to him being here at the game to watch me play because I hadn’t played here for (three) years. … I was excited to see Spike and didn’t get to see him.”

He didn’t see him because Lee announced Tuesday, on ESPN’s First Take, that he wouldn’t attend another Knicks game this season. In yet another instance of the Knicks alienating a prominent figure associated with the franchise, a dispute arose Monday between Lee and Madison Square Garden officials over which entrance the longtime season ticket holder should use. 

The team released the following statement, adding fuel to the fire: “The idea that Spike Lee is a victim because we have repeatedly asked him to not use our employee entrance and instead use a dedicated VIP entrance -- which is used by every other celebrity who enters The Garden -- is laughable. It’s disappointing that Spike would create this false controversy to perpetuate drama. He is welcome to come to The Garden anytime via the VIP or general entrance; just not through our employee entrance, which is what he and Jim (Dolan) agreed to last night when they shook hands.”

Dolan and the Knicks also came under fire in 2017, when former New York Knick Charles Oakley was arrested and removed from Madison Square Garden after an altercation in the stands.

When asked if such incidents make players reluctant to want to join the Knicks, Paul said, “I don’t know about all that. I can’t speak for nobody else. I’ve been fortunate to know Oak. Oak is like my uncle. I’ve known Oak for years, I know Spike. I don’t know all the ins and outs, so I can’t speak for other guys, but I have a relationship with those guys, so that’s that.”

Paul let his shoes do the talking. ‘Do the Right Thing’ is one of Lee’s most well-known films. It weaves comedy and drama together to tell the story of a hot day in New York, bubbling with racial tension.

Maybe Paul’s shoes were merely referencing a Spike Lee masterpiece. Maybe the message had a double meaning.

Related Photos
Mar 6, 2020; New York, New York, USA;  A detail view of the shoes worn by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3)  during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 6, 2020; New York, New York, USA; A detail view of the shoes worn by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a613a3382a144a7d01b8fad110dc4d94.jpg" alt="Photo - Mar 6, 2020; New York, New York, USA; A detail view of the shoes worn by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports" title="Mar 6, 2020; New York, New York, USA; A detail view of the shoes worn by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports"><figcaption>Mar 6, 2020; New York, New York, USA; A detail view of the shoes worn by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5a534bd6ececad556ec045b7d6f420e8.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a basket during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a basket during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a basket during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Maddie Lee

Maddie Lee followed an NBA team from Seattle to Oklahoma City, she just took a 10-year detour in between. Lee joined the Oklahoman in October 2018 as a Thunder beat writer, fresh off a stint in Oxford, Miss., where she covered Ole Miss for the... Read more ›

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