Mayor Michael Bloomberg has forced a lot of his agenda on the citizens of New York City — third terms, bike lanes, banning trans-fat and 32-ounce drinks — and some may label him a bully. Now, it sounds like the billionaire mayor has taken his strong-arm tactics down to his courtside seats at Madison Square Garden.
Last Thursday, after Spurs forward Stephen Jackson left the game with a sprained ankle during the Knicks 100-83 win, believed to have happened when Jackson tripped over a waitress who was crouching next to the court serving the mayor a drink.
Not so, Bloomberg said yesterday at a press conference in the Bronx.
"He didn't fall on her, " Bloomberg revealed. "He came close and I just pushed him a little bit."
Say what? Was the mayor channeling his inner Charles Oakley to get an assist for the Knicks?
"I wasn't helping [the Knicks]," he said of his sixth man status but added. "It would be great for New York" if both the Knicks and Nets made the playoffs.
Jackson tripped and rolled the ankle after attempting a three point shot and falling backwards. He missed the rest of the game and the next one too.
Bloomberg indicated that his "push" was just instinctive.
It isn't the first time Jackson has made headlines for a physical encounter with a fan. It was Jackson and former St. John's star Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace) who rumbled in the stands during the infamous Malice at the Palace in 2004.
Whether or not Jackson stepped on the waitress or got boxed out by the diminutive mayor is a moot point to Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Pops called the incident a "mayoral mishap" but is calling on all NBA teams to keep the sidelines less cluttered during the game.
Does that mean getting rid of Spike Lee?