Spike Lee was dancing over an NBA draft pick on Wednesday.
But it wasn’t because Obi Toppin joined the New York Knicks. The iconic film director and legendary Knicks fan made a surprise cameo to celebrate the Orlando Magic’s first-round selection.
Orlando selected North Carolina point guard Cole Anthony with the No. 15 pick. When ESPN cameras cut to Anthony’s draft party, Lee jumped into the picture and did a dance.
Spike Lee, camera hog
Why was Lee partying with a Magic pick?
That Lee hammed it up for the camera is no surprise. His primary gig is behind the camera, but he’s never shied away from showing up for featured roles in his own films (see “Do the Right Thing” and “Malcolm X”).
But why exactly was Lee partying with the Anthonys on Wednesday?
There is a Knicks connection here. Cole’s father is former NBA point guard Greg Anthony, who spent 11 seasons in the league including four with the Knicks, who drafted him out of UNLV in 1991. His four seasons with the Knicks were among the franchise’s best in the last three decades that included the East’s best record in 1993 and a trip to the 1994 NBA Finals.
Lee surely looks back on those seasons fondly and apparently developed a relationship with the Anthony family. So he showed up to support Cole on his big night.
Did Magic get a steal?
The Magic may have reason to celebrate as well. Cole Anthony was a projected lottery pick when he arrived at North Carolina, an athletic point guard with deep 3-point range and no fear of taking the big shot.
His freshman season and his draft stock took a hit when he suffered a torn meniscus that required surgery last December. He produced when he was able to play, averaging 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and four assists. But he struggled from the field, shooting 38 percent.
If he can develop into a more efficient scorer at the NBA level, the Magic may have gotten a steal at No. 15.
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