Media attending the Miami Heat shootaround Thursday morning were surprised to encounter an unusual presence in their ranks:
Waiting for Erik Spoelstra to speak with media here at AA Arena after shootaround. Spike Lee sitting in front of me, not sure why.
— Surya Fernandez (@SuryaHeatNBA) June 20, 2013
Lee isn't exactly a Heat fan--he's a courtside fixture at Knicks games--but he goes way back with Ray Allen, who played Jesus Shuttlesworth in Lee's He Got Game (1998). It was, in fact, Mr. Shuttlesworth the director was seeking at media availability.
First, Lee had to negotiate with Heat PR:
True story. Heat PR denies Spike Lee's request for Ray Allen. Spike told Allen doesn't talk at shootarounds. — Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) June 20, 2013
Spike has hammered it out with Heat PR. Lee working on Jesus Shuttlesworth spoof for ESPN. Ray Allen's character from "He Got Game" in 1998. — Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) June 20, 2013
But even with approval from the team, he was out of luck.
As it happened, Ray Allen declined to do Spike's Jesus Shuttlesworth spoof. Too bad. Spike is outta here.
— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) June 20, 2013
Told Heat players all declined Spike's meeting requests this morning.Lee managed to get a word in edgewise, but it sounds like his efforts were unsurprisingly fruitless. Allen routinely refuses shootaround interviews, and seems to have been especially dismissive in this case. It's almost like he and the Heat have something else important going on today ...
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 20, 2013