The 46-year-old filmmaker—and Knicks superfan—is directing a series of commercials for TNT's new NBA marketing campaign. The ads will feature Jason Kidd, LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal.
SI: How did LeBron do in front of the camera?
Lee: This was the first time he's shot a commercial, and I thought he was great. It was a lot like the spots I did with Michael [Jordan] early on. They didn't let him speak either. (Laughs.) But as Mike got more comfortable, he got more dialogue.
SI: What's your best piece of Jordan memorabilia?
Lee: His sneakers from when he came back and scored the double nickel against the Knicks. I also got his Jordans from his first game at the Garden after Sept. 11, and one of his bats from when he played in the minors.
SI: Now that your trademark infringement suit against Viacom is settled, would you watch Spike TV if it aired a Spike Lee movie?
Lee: That's not going to happen. One of the good things about the suit is that people now know for sure that I have nothing to do with that channel.
SI: You've wanted to make a film about Jackie Robinson for years. What's the status of that project?
Lee: Once I get the money, we'll get it made. I also want to make a film about Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. Those are my two dream projects.
SI: What's the best basketball movie ever?