Spike Lee had to console Stephen A. Smith amid the Knicks’ chaotic night at the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday.
Jalen Duren was drafted at No. 13 by the Hornets but was traded moments later to the Knicks. The Memphis center was then dealt to the Pistons, along with point guard Kemba Walker — who now will reportedly discuss a contract buyout with Detroit.
Smith — a diehard Knicks fan, who, admittedly wanted the Knicks to keep Duren — tweeted “pain,” alongside a video that featured a video of him with his head in his hands. Lee, a decades-long Knicks supporter, patted Smith on the back while the “First Take” host shook his head.
Earlier in the night, the Knicks traded No. 11 pick Ousmane Dieng to the Thunder for multiple draft picks in return. Marc Stein then reported the move would help the Knicks free up salary-cap space in their pursuit of the Mavericks’ Jalen Brunson.
In a separate video, Smith discussed the Knicks’ moves and asked, “What’re we gonna do with the Knicks now, Spike?” That’s when Lee got on his knees and began praying, and Smith followed suit.
“[We need] somebody to help us,” Lee said about the Knicks. “Anybody, somebody to help us.”
Ahead of the trade, Smith tweeted a video explaining why he was skeptical about the Knicks’ decision-making in the draft.
“Why the hell should I look forward to the draft? The Knicks have the 11th pick. Am I supposed to believe they’re going to get that right?” Smith asked. “Am I supposed to believe we’re going to get an impact player? Am I supposed to believe that the New York Knicks are going to be better this season than they were last season?
“Maybe they might be, but that would be because they couldn’t get much worse. I’m trying to be hopeful. I’m trying to be nice. I’m trying to be in high spirits, thinking that it’s going to finally work out for me for me with these damn Knicks who haven’t given me a damn championship since 1973. I was five years old. Ima be cool. I’m gonna try, but I just don’t know.”