Ethan Hawke’s biting words against the Knicks cost him a spot on Celebrity Row.
Appearing on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” Monday, the “First Reformed” actor and longtime New York sports fan recalled how unfiltered comments about James Dolan’s team irked Madison Square Garden’s executive chairman to his core.
“I’ve been a Knicks fan for a long time, but I got kicked out of the Garden,” Hawke said. “They won’t give me tickets anymore. I was really vocal on some talk shows like this, that I thought it was a huge mistake to let [former Knicks coach] Mike D’Antoni go. I would have bet on Mike before I bet on Melo [Carmelo Anthony].”
Anthony was traded to the Knicks in February 2011 during D’Antoni’s third season. After getting swept by the Celtics in the playoffs, the Knicks got off to an 18-24 start the following year, at which time Anthony reportedly forced D’Antoni out, as the coach and star were not getting along. It came a month after Jeremy Lin exploded onto the scene when Anthony was out with an injury.
“The first thing that had been exciting since [coach] Jeff Van Gundy left the Garden with the Knicks was Linsanity,” Hawke said. “It was absolutely incredible in the way that that organization didn’t fan the flames and let Mike do what he wanted to do, and let these guys run and let them play ball. Instead, Mike’s on his way to the Western Conference final and the Garden is empty.”
D’Antoni was named head coach of the Houston Rockets in 2016. They’ll face the reigning champs, Golden State, in Game 2 on Wednesday after dropping the opener on Monday night, 119-106.
As for Hawke, his remarks allegedly didn’t sit well with the organization.
“They’d always hook me up,” Hawke said of the organization. “And then I called up one time and they said, ‘That’ll be $7,800.’ I was like, ‘Why is this the first time you guys are charging me?’ And they said, ‘You should have thought of that before you went on the Jimmy Fallon show.’ And I was like, ‘Wow, this is real.’”
Though Hawke said he “exaggerated” and has issued public apologies, the 47-year-old screen star isn’t itching to go back to MSG.
“The point is I’m not wanted and I don’t go where I’m not wanted,” he said.
Hawke has instead started rooting for LeBron James since the four-time MVP returned to Cleveland in 2014.