Samuel L. Jackson injected a bit of sports into Oscar Sunday.
Before he presented the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay alongside Brie Larson, he updated famed New York Knicks fan Spike Lee on his team’s 130-118 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Lee yelled back, “We’re trying to tank!” The Knicks broke their 18-game home losing streak with the win, improving to 12-48 on the season. This is the worst record in the Eastern Conference and the second-worst mark in the NBA ahead of the 11-50 Phoenix Suns.
The pair have collaborated on several films, including “Do The Right Thing,” Jungle Fever” and “School Daze.”
Moments later, Jackson loudly announced Lee as the winner for “BlacKkKlansman.” It is the 61-year old filmmaker’s second Academy Award, as he received the Honorary Award in 2016.
The Brooklyn native is known for his frequent courtside appearances at Madison Square Garden. He has never been afraid to voice his concerns with management, who have failed to lead the Knicks to the playoffs since 2013.
After New York parted ways with former team president Phil Jackson in 2017, Lee expressed his exuberance on social media.
He celebrated Sunday night in Hollywood after his Academy Award breakthrough. He had previously been nominated for Best Original Screenplay in 1990 (“Do The Right Thing”) and Best Documentary Feature in 1998 (“Little Girls”).
He also earned nominations this year for Best Director and Best Picture, losing to Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”) and Green Book, respectively.