Chat with Spike Lee
To help celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, ESPN called upon 30 filmmakers to create one-hour pieces on sports subjects from 1979-2009. Lee's piece will be the first one to air on ESPN on Saturday, May 16, 8 p.m. ET. "Kobe Doin' Work" is film that brings together Lee and Kobe Bryant. During the last game of the 2007-08 regular season, Lee and his cinematographer, Matthew Libatique, spent the day with the Lakers superstar.
Lee has either directed, produced, written or acted in over 50 movies in his career that has spanned over 30 years. His movies routinely examine race relations, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues.
Send your questions and join Lee at 5:20 p.m. ET on Monday!
Buzzmaster (5:05 PM)
Spike Lee will be here at 5:20 p.m. ET to take your questions!
Spike Lee (5:11 PM)
What's happening, sports fans?
How difficult is it to make a something like Kobe Doin' Work?
Spike Lee (5:12 PM)
Well it was difficult, but that's what I love to do as a filmmaker. No film is easy. When you are filming a live sports event there is very little control you have on the outcome. That's what makes it exciting.
Why do you think Kobe can be such a polarizing figure with fans? He is clearly the best player since MJ. Brilliant in his ability. And yet, he is not adored by fans...and this was the case even before Colorado.
Spike Lee (5:13 PM)
Not everyone can be liked, or loved. That goes back to people's personalities. It's simple. But this film focuses on him as a player. But very good question.
Hey do you stay in touch with former Knicks from those mid-90s teams, like Starks, Oakman, and Patrick?
Spike Lee (5:14 PM)
Yes. Patrick is a coach now in Orlando. Starks works for the Knicks, in community affairs and I see Oakley all around.
Spike, man, I love that MSG inspires players, but when will a player drop in 50+ in a win at the Garden and actually be wearing a Knicks jersey?
Spike Lee (5:15 PM)
Hopefully in the year 2010. That's why we are trying to clear the cap space. That's what Donnie Walsh is doing.
Fellini or Kurosawa? Not who's better, but whom do you prefer and why?
Spike Lee (5:16 PM)
Love 'em both. And both as filmmakers have had a great impact on my work. the premise of Roshomon was really the same thing as She's Gotta Have it. Of course it won't approach the brilliance of Roshomon, but that was the idea.
Jason K. (NJ)
Why make it on an athlete like Kobe? What stood out in your mind about him?
Spike Lee (5:17 PM)
He was having an MVP season, which he did win at the end of the year and you knew the Lakers were going to the finals.
Okay, so in 1996-97 the Knicks and Bulls split their regular season series. The the Miami travesty happens in the playoffs with the suspensions and we blow a 3-1 series lead. Would that Knicks team have beaten Chicago in the postseason? Do I need to let this go? Cause I don't think I can.
Spike Lee (5:19 PM)
The game was over, why Charlie Ward felt he had to start a fight..then players are not disciplined and leave the bench. It was a horror. But the curse started when they traded Patrick. That is when the curse started. Patrick put some Jamaican voodoo on the Knicks and they've been horrible ever since. Then the voodoo got worse. There is no reason why Patrick Ewing cannot be an assistant on the Knicks. Why Orlando?
Spike, having spent some time with Kobe, can you put into words how badly he wants to win this championship?
Spike Lee (5:20 PM)
Short of killing someone and going to jail... that's how much he wants to win. And Jordan was like that, too.
Mike - Miami FL
Kobe, Wade, of Lebron. Who would you take for your own team in the draft with the first pick? And Y?
Spike Lee (5:20 PM)
LeBron, cause he is younger than Kobe.
Better Knicks playoff moment Starks dunk vs. the Bulls or LJs four point play against the Pacers?
Spike Lee (5:21 PM)
Those are equal to me.
Spike Lee (5:21 PM)
What about Patrick's tap back in Game 7 against the Pacers?
Do you think films rely too heavily on music to bring about an emotional reaction from an audience?
Spike Lee (5:22 PM)
Yes, in the hands of directors who do not know what they are doing. But used effectively you can help tell the story just as much as acting, cinematography, editing, production design, costume design and the sound design.
Spike, who is your favorite director who still directs today and why?
Spike Lee (5:23 PM)
Martin Scorsese. He is a New York filmmaker and great storyteller.
Shayne - NY [via mobile]
Spike... Do you think the Knicks will sign LeBron during the 2010 offseason?
Spike Lee (5:24 PM)
My eyes toes and ears are crossed. And it will be LeBron plus somebody else.
Ryan (Gainesville, FL)
Do you and Reggie Miller talk a lot about the night when he put eight points up in a few seconds?
Spike Lee (5:24 PM)
No, we talk a lot but we do not bring up those games. He does not bring them up and I do not bring them up.
You know Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant very well personally, how are they similar on and off the court and when will we see a commercial with you and Kobe as we did with you and MJ?
Spike Lee (5:25 PM)
I am not sure if you will see a commercial of me and Kobe. People always try to compare MJ and LeBron or MJ and Kobe. I guess Michael is the yardstick. But for me Michael Jordan is the one.
Tone (Yonkers, NY)
I'm all for keeping Kryptonate - he's got that fire and passion. You?
Spike Lee (5:27 PM)
I am, but I do not want to get rid of David Lee either. That is a predicament. How do you keep both with the cap. I do not want to lose either. Unless we come up with a high lottery pick and we get the best guard or forward in the draft, Rubio or Griffin.
Who is your pick in this year's playoffs? Can the Nuggets get to the finals?
Spike Lee (5:28 PM)
Yes, they can get to the finals. George Karl has them playing great and if I were the Lakers I would be worried. I would love to see an LA-Cleveland final, but that may not happen. That is not a lock. Not money in the bank. Not fo sho.
Did you watch kobes 81 point game? Do u think he will do it again or anybody else will soon?
Spike Lee (5:30 PM)
Oh yeah I think someone is going to score 100 points in a game. It is possible. It is a record that can be broken. If you get 81 you can get 100. And there was no 3-pointer when Wilt did it.
Which films most influenced you?
Spike Lee (5:33 PM)
West Side Story, Battle of Algiers, Chinatown, On the Waterfront, A Face in the Crowd. Godfather I and II, Ace in the Hole.
Spike Lee (5:35 PM)
Please check out the Kobe piece. Kobe Doin Work, broadcast commercial free, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Pray for the New York Knicks. Pray for the New York Yankees. Prayers are accepted and welcomed. Pray for LeBron and someone else to deliver so we can be NY witnesses. Keep those eyes, toes and fingers crossed. Don't walk under a ladder, do not split the poll when walking with someone else...
Spike Lee (5:35 PM)
do not step on a crack on the sidewalk.
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