Madison Square Garden isn’t just Spike Lee‘s house anymore. It also belongs to Anna Wintour.
(Pic via MTV/Getty Images)
And Beyoncé (with Jay-Z and Chloe Sevigny):
(Pic via Chris Trotman/Getty)
And Zach Galifianakis with Jason Schwartzmann and Jonathan Ames [Ed. note: insert shout out to my former professor right here!]
(Pic via The Score/Getty)
You get the point, though you might ask yourself why all these celebrities want to see a basketball team that hasn’t won a title since 1973.
According to the New York Times, the answer—surprise—lies with Madison Square Garden’s “well-oiled” PR team, which has established a complex web-like system to determine who qualifies as a Knick-worthy name. In other words, which celebs will best distract fans from the team’s own dismal performance? It’s all about promoting “the exceptionalist notion that the city is special, the Knicks are special, the Garden is special”, and it’s a crucial part of the Knicks brand.
See, celebrities show up to see the Lakers play because they want to be seen, but they show up to see the Knicks play because they love the team. Got it?
The MSG communications team controls everything down to which seats are occupied by which famous faces, moving well beyond the front row to make sure everyone is in his or her right place. They even actively recruit certain names, who not only don’t have to pay for their tickets but get the VIP treatment as well.
It’s a fascinating piece but, as usual, the most appropriately respectful response to the team itself comes to us via one Larry David (and this is a two-point game in overtime!):
I’m prettay prettay prettay sleepy pic.twitter.com/uzrS2uZDdE
— Steve Braband (@stevebraband) January 14, 2014