I was seriously considering getting a peanut butter and jelly sandwich over
at the American Pavilion. All the Americans drop by for a Coors, to get the
LA Times and maybe munch some nachos. Tonight the cantina area was packed,
and I decided to skip the PBJ. Everyone was gathered around two TV screens
blaring a basketball game. Well, it would make a nice photo so see all these
crazy Americans staring at TV while the most beautiful seashore, glamorous
parties and elegant casinos lie in the background. I took one shot and then
I noticed him. Instant connection: this is a Bulls and Knicks game, and that
is Spike Lee. Yep, the fan in the front row is here pitching "Girl
has been deep-sixed by critics in the states. What a strange turn of events.
He is besieged by fans, but everyone backs off when the game starts again.
"Whatsa score," asks the receptionist, as I head out of the pavilion?
"Didn't notice," I reply. "Dustin Hoffman might come down now that the TV's
are working." Maybe I'll stick around after all.
Dustin doesn't show but watching Spike is enough. One side of the room
becomes his Knicks' side and the other belongs to the Bulls. Cheers ring for
Michael Jordan, as he evens the score again and for Patrick Ewing as he
brings the Knicks back into game. Dennis Rodman plays rough as usual but
Spike is pointing it out, as if he can influence the ref thousands of miles
The crowd starts the countdown, but the game goes into overtime. Lee
intently stares at the screen trying to ignore the huge TV camera that has
positioned itself just out of his line of sight. Lights fill the room as
everyone waits to catch Spike's reaction to the Knicks, win or lose. About
27 seconds remain in overtime, when the TV screens go blank and then blue.
The crowd erupts into chaos. Did someone trip a plug, flip a switch? "I
swear I paid the cable bill!" someone exclaims. Just as suddenly as it went
off, the TV is restored and seemingly no time has elapsed. The Bulls make
their move, and the Knicks answer. The Knicks take the third game of the
finals, and Lee is on his feet, arms in the air. Everyone wants a shot of
him, and soon he is standing on the table waving to everyone. But for a
little while there, we are just fans away from home, enjoying a basketball
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