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Lee To Film Miami Heat Commercial

April 14, 1998

MIAMI (AP) _ Once a Knicks fan, always a Knicks fan. Spike Lee promises.

The filmmaker’s latest project is a commercial for professional basketball’s Miami Heat. But that doesn’t mean he’s abandoning his beloved New York Knicks for one of their biggest rivals.

``I can personally separate my allegiance to the Knicks and business,″ he said Sunday night _ before the Knicks lost to Miami and then protested that referees failed to count what would have been a game-winning basket with 0.2 seconds left.

Last year, the Knicks and Heat got in a big brawl during a playoff game in Miami. New York was left shorthanded for the rest of the postseason because five players were suspended.

Lee, who is a fixture in front row at Knicks’ home games, said the Heat invited him to film the commercial. It features the entire Heat lineup, coach Pat Riley _ who used to coach the Knicks _ birdlike mascot ``Burnie″ and cheerleaders. Dozens of fans turned out Monday in Coral Gables to take part.

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