Spike Lee versus James Dolan is the type of theater that fuels a dysfunctional franchise

The New York Knicks upset the Houston Rockets, they welcomed a new team president in Leon Rose, and yet neither was the headline. The Spike Lee vs James Dolan feud is the type of dysfunction the franchise has to avoid.

"I’m coming back next year, but I’m done for the season...I’m done." Those were the words that dominated the sports news media outlets Tuesday morning, coming from the acclaimed director Spike Lee who is also well-regarded as the New York Knicks number one superfan.

Lee went on to add "I’m being harassed by James Dolan. I don’t know why."

On a night where rookie RJ Barrett scored 27 points as the Knicks upset James Harden and the Houston Rockets with a 125-123 win, the Spike Lee incident overshadowed the victory. On a night where Madison Square Garden welcomed their new agent-turned team president Leon Rose, Spike Lee versus James Dolan was the matchup anybody would be talking about the next morning.

The video of Lee arguing with MSG security circulated social media, and the incident took another turn the following morning. On ESPN’s First Take, Lee commented that he was "harassed" by security as he was restricted from entering the arena via his normal entrance. The Knicks organization responded with a statement, claiming that Lee attempting to "play the victim" is "laughable."

One thing’s for sure, this will surely continue to stir in the near future, and it’s the exact type of theater that a dysfunctional franchise has to avoid.

Put aside whom you think is "right" or "wrong" in this scenario, the takeaway is that after a rare victory by a lowly Knicks team, and a spectacular outing from their third overall pick, neither of those are the headlines that you’ll find in the aftermath.

Instead, it’s "Spike Lee versus the Knicks" or perhaps, more accurately, "Spike Lee versus James Dolan." Whatever it deems to be labeled, this incident is the type of theater that renders dysfunctional franchises, well, dysfunctional.

The Charles Oakley incident, the banning of a fan from MSG ‘for life’, and the "sell the team" chants, they’re just a continuing trend of embarrassing situations that ultimately hold back any hope of a Knicks return to prominence.

It’s one thing if the on the court product is lacking, but when there’s a dysfunctional culture and reputation surrounding the organization? That leaves a lasting image, and it may continue to linger unless a significant remedy is taken.

Does that mean Dolan must sell the team? Does it necessitate him fading so far in the background that the perception should be that he has little to no say on any Knicks’ matters?

Whatever the solution may be, something has to change if the Knicks want to resonate in the minds of fans for the right reasons, not the wrong ones.