Hornets.com 1-on-1: Spike Lee

By: Kyle Bass, Hornets.com

Since the state of Louisiana passed legislation providing movie-production incentives in 2002, New Orleans has become a popular destination for movie directors. Since then, such films as “Runaway Jury,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming “Django Unchained” have all been filmed in The Big Easy.

Recently, Academy Award nominee Spike Lee picked New Orleans as the filming location for his most recent piece of work. Lee, who previously filmed the documentary “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” here in New Orleans, is also famously known as a dedicated New York Knicks fan. Hornets.com caught up with the award-winning director and NBA enthusiast in the New Orleans Arena before the recent Knicks-Hornets matchup:

Hornets.com: How did you become such an avid NBA/basketball fan?
Lee: My father used to take me to basketball games at the old Madison Square Garden on 50th Street and 8th Avenue.

Hornets.com: What was the first basketball game you ever attended?
Lee: It was a college basketball game. We used to go to the ECAC holiday tournament. It was three games during the day and three games at night. We were sitting up in the last row, having the greatest time of my life eating hot dogs and watching basketball.

Hornets.com: Can you talk about the projects you have filmed in New Orleans?
Lee: I’m shooting one right now. It’s called Old Boy. It’s starring Josh Brolin (pictured above with Lee), Lizzie Olsen, Sharlto Copley and Samuel L. Jackson. It’s a re-interpretation of a Korean film. It was a Korean thriller the first time.

Hornets.com: What about the city of New Orleans attracts you for work and pleasure?
Lee: This is the longest stretch I’ve ever been to New Orleans. I’ve been here since August. I love this city. The weather has been great. There are more films shot here now than in Los Angeles and Hollywood. Everybody shoots here now. We’ve had a great crew. It’s a great city and I’m kind of sad that it is going to end. We’ve got six more days then it’s over.

Hornets.com: What do you think about the Hornets so far this season?
Lee: I’m sad that Anthony Davis is not going to play tonight. I wanted the Hornets to be at their full strength, but injuries are part of the game. He’s going to be one of the great young players for a while.

Hornets.com: You’ve been a Knicks supporter for some time now. What is your favorite Knicks team of all time?
Lee:The Knicks in ’69-’70. They won that first world championship. Favorite player was Walt Frazier. Standing right over there (Editor’s note: Frazier became a longtime Knicks broadcaster after retiring from playing). On that team you had Willis Reed at center, Dave DeBusschere and Bill Bradley at forward. You had Cazzie Russell coming off the bench. The guards were Frazier and Dick Barnett. Red Holzman was the coach. My favorite Knicks team ever.