Through six playoff series meetings between 1993-2000, the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks became the most bitter rivals in the NBA. And for the most part, that rivalry was fueled by the conflict between Pacers star Reggie Miller and Knicks superfan Spike Lee.
Now 27 years after he threw up the infamous “choke” gesture, the retired three-point specialist is still throwing jabs at his arch rival.
On the call for TNT in Game 5 of the Knicks’ first-round series with the Atlanta Hawks, Miller witnessed a sight that brought a smile to his face. With New York down 16 points with three minutes to go, the cameras caught Lee walking away from his court-side seats and into the tunnel.
“Come on, man. That’s a fair-weather fan right there,” Miller said. “If he’s supposed to be the No. 1 supporter of the Knicks you gotta stay here and take it like the guys on the floor.”
Reggie Miller once again taunting Spike Lee at the Garden, this time about leaving the Knicks loss early: pic.twitter.com/9TdtdXHOJy
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) June 3, 2021
Soon after he left the court, Lee returned to his seats to finish out the game.
With their 103-89 loss on Wednesday night, the Knicks were eliminated from the playoffs with a 4-1 series score. Hawks rising superstar Trae Young put on a Reggie Miller-esque performance in this series — averaging 29.2 points and 9.8 assists per game.
And just like Miller, Young had his far share of encounters with less-than-welcoming Knicks fans. Met with chants of “(expletive) Trae Young” and spit from front-row fans, it was the Atlanta star who got the last laugh. After hitting a late-game dagger to ice the series, Young took a bow for the Madison Square Garden crowd.
The Hawks will play the 76ers in the second round.