HoopsHype Spike Lee rumors

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December 22, 2010 Updates

Spike Lee once wrote that early in his career, he was probably better known as a Knick fan, and as Mars Blackmon in those Michael Jordan commercials, than as a filmmaker. The director of "Do the Right Thing," "Malcolm X" and the chilling Hurricane Katrina documentary "When the Levees Broke" doesn't think that anymore. But he's still making NBA-themed TV commercials, including two that debut on Christmas Day, starring Dwyane Wade and Charles Barkley. Lee -- whose student thesis film included a rhyme about Converse, and who had a relationship with Nike dating to the Mars Blackmon character in his first major motion picture "She's Gotta Have It" -- says making commercials with NBA players is a natural. "I know them," he says, "they are friends. We love each other. They know that I respect them. I'm not going to have them on the set forever. They trust my work. So it's all good. It was a great experience. I'm glad I got the call." ESPN.com

One of the spots, for T-Mobile, features Wade locked in a hotel bathroom. Wade makes and shares a video with his phone (something Wade says he actually is tech-savvy enough to do in real life) saying "Get me out of here." In the narrative of the ad, it's widely misconstrued as a trade demand. "I send this 'get me out of here" video and everyone says oh my god, D-Wade wants a trade. And then Charles Barkley, Spike Lee, Steve Nash, everyone's seeing this ... it's a real fun moment." It's also just a tiny bit bold -- a coveted player joking in a national campaign about a trade demand. It's something Wade thought about. "Oh yeah," says Wade. "[The Heat] had to approve the ad. They're fine. And when the commercial ends you see I was trying to get out of the bathroom. They know I'm not trying to go anywhere. Being locked in for the next six years kind of helped that." ESPN.com

December 13, 2010 Updates

Before the Knicks beat Forbes' Nuggets, 129-125, Spike Lee, the denizen of all things Brooklyn, admitted to the Daily News that he had never heard of Forbes, who starred at Banneker High in Fort Greene. Maybe he should have known him since Forbes' team lost to Sebastian Telfair and Lincoln in the 2003 PSAL city championship game at the Garden. Lee famously chronicled Coney Island's Lincoln High in his film, "He Got Game." While Telfair jumped from Lincoln to the NBA, Forbes took a meandering journey to the pros, through a pair of high schools, two colleges, Italy, Israel, the NBA Development league and finally to the Denver Nuggets this season. His performance Sunday (six points), may not have drawn Lee's attention, but if the famous director ever needs a subject for a new film, he may want to draw on Forbes' inspiring story. "Gary is someone who's always had to deal with obstacles," said Wendell Saunders, who coached Forbes at Banneker. "It's never really come easy for him. He's had to stay confident and keep his head on straight." New York Daily News

October 31, 2010 Updates

Knicks season-ticket holder Spike Lee, from his seat on celebrity row last night, acknowledged his friendship with fellow Brooklynite Carmelo Anthony and delivered his wish for the coming year. "I have just one sentence for you," Lee told The Post before the Knicks' 100-95 loss to the Trail Blazers in their home opener. "Carmelo Anthony will be with the Knicks if God is willing and the creek don't rise." An old saying meaning a goal will be achieved as outside forces do not wreak havoc, "If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise" is also the title of Lee's latest documentary on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. New York Post

October 21, 2010 Updates
August 15, 2010 Updates

The Knicks lost out on LeBron James, the top free agent this summer who went to Miami, and settled for signing Amar'e Stoudemire. Lee is now hoping they can get Anthony, who could be next season's top free agent. "Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Really great," Lee said of what Anthony would mean to the Knicks. "I just hope (they can sign him). I hope so. He'd be a great addition to the team and to the franchise. " FanHouse.com

Speaking to reporters Saturday at his annual basketball camp in the Denver area, Anthony did not offer a lot of clues about his plans. Lee figures to try to influence him if Anthony hasn't made a decision by Dec. 12, Denver's one regular-season appearance next season in New York. "I know him," Lee said of Anthony, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., where Lee grew up. "We're not tight, tight. Brooklyn guys, we stick together." As for James, Lee didn't have too much to say about him. "We're over LeBron," Lee said. "He had to do what he had to do." FanHouse.com

July 12, 2010 Updates

It was a wedding toast heard from Broadway to Bourbon Street. During Carmelo Anthony's wedding Saturday night at Cipriani's on 42nd Street, Chris Paul, the superstar New Orleans point guard, predicted a future Knicks Dream Team. Take that, LeCon. According to a person who spoke with wedding attendee Amar'e Stoudemire, Paul made the reference during a speech of a potential union of himself, Stoudemire and Anthony, saying, "We'll form our own Big 3," Paul allegedly said. Attendee Spike Lee nearly passed out at the suggestion. New York Post

July 9, 2010 Updates

Filmmaker Spike Lee said he doesn't blame James for joining the Miami Heat, but said The King could have been more gracious toward Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who said he learned of the move via a last-minute phone call from Rich Paul, one of James' associates. "LeBron should have called instead of having Rich Paul call him," Lee said on ESPN. "For me, that's the same thing as Pat Riley faxing the Knicks, 'I'm outta here.'" Because of the backlash in Ohio, Lee said, James must say "outta here" to Cleveland and Akron. "I don't know how he's going to live in Akron or Cleveland anymore," Lee said. "They're going to make his life miserable. ... Why live someplace where you're going to be hated? And the first time the Heat go to (Cleveland), they're going to need the National Guard." Palm Beach Post

Lee said James, who turned down Knicks overtures, should not expect any warmer welcome in Madison Square Garden, either. "He's going to get it worse than Reggie Miller," Lee said. While many figure the Heat to be a favorite for the NBA title, Lee's not. "I'm not giving 'em zero (titles) until I see who else they have," Lee said. "They've got three guys now. They're not better than Chicago. I don't think they're better than Boston, either." The way it played out doesn't surprise Lee. "I cannot blame LeBron for doing what makes him happy," Lee said. "He left a lot of money on the table, but this thing was rigged from way back. Palm Beach Post

July 8, 2010 Updates

Knicks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh, who thanked Isiah Thomas and Spike Lee for their help, called Stoudemire "somebody you can base your team around." He averaged 23.5 points and 9.1 rebounds in Phoenix under Mike D'Antoni, who is now his Knicks coach. "I know one thing about Amar'e is that if there is a challenge in front of him, he will do whatever it takes to get over that hurdle," D'Antoni said. "He has proven that with injuries and time and time again in Phoenix. We won a lot of games together and hopefully we'll be successful here. I do know that New York probably is not for everybody. It's a big stage. You have to show some guts and grit and you've got to come every day to work and Amar'e will do that. I'm sure we'll have other guys that follow him here. We'll see who steps up to the challenge but I know Amar'e will meet it." Arizona Republic

July 6, 2010 Updates

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