Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Knicks fan extraordinaire Spike Lee sat in Serena Williams’ players’ box Monday during her 6-3, 6-4 rout of Ana Ivanovic at the U.S. Open.
Lee believes that Serena, despite being the No. 28 seed, will win her fourth U.S. Open title and 14th major championship.
“She’s gonna,” he told CBSSports.com in a video interview.
Most observers picked Serena to win the Open before it began despite the fact that she missed nearly a year with two foot surgeries and a blood clots in her lungs.
She wouldn’t bet against herself, either.
“I don’t know if I’m the best or not [in the world],” she said. “I believe I am and I think a lot of other girls, women in the locker room, believe they are, too, as they should. I don’t think anyone should go out and say that they’re not.
“If you’re talking about self-belief, then yeah.”
Serena said Spike tries to keep up with her on the tennis court, even if he’s not quite up to the task.
“He’s crazy,” she said. “He wants to win more than I do. He’s like, ‘Hit to me really hard.’ I’m like, ‘I can’t hit to you really hard. I’m going to break your racquet if I do.’ He’s like, ‘No, go your hardest.’ I’m like, ‘Really?’
“He’s actually really good. He’s like really, really intense. I’m a little intimidated. Calm down, calm down.’
The power duo often dines together when they’re together in Florida.
“We always try to do lunch or dinner somewhere,” she said. “His parents actually live in Palm Beach, literally down the street. I’ve been there a few times. He and his wife are great.”
During those meetings, Spike often makes Serena pick sides in a debate topic he chooses.
“He loves debates,” Serena said. “Whenever we’re at dinner, he’s looking for a debate. You have to join in and pick a side. I always try to pick an opposite site so it can just be a debate. It’s fun, though. I love it.”
One thing they’ll be debating about for years to come is the Knicks vs. LeBron James and the Heat.
“I support the Heat,” Serena said. “He supports the Knicks. We always argue about that one.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.