During this year's NBA Finals, a courtside power summit at Staples Center provided stirring insight into the intimate camaraderie between Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Eddie Murphy. (You might recall Sylvester Stallone joining in when Katzenberg visited the men's room.) We're learning even more today about that alliance, which, in addition to Spielberg's orotund ref-hating, influenced detente in ways not seen since Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill converged at Yalta. The stakes: Peace between directors Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood, who had feuded over representations of African-American soldiers (or the lack thereof) in Eastwood's films. Lee remembers it like it was yesterday:
"I was at an NBA finals, Lakers versus the Celtics," Lee says. "[At] halftime [I'm] going to the restroom. I saw Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Eddie Murphy sitting together. I stopped by to say hi and Jeffrey jokes, 'Leave Clint alone' and we all laugh. "But Steven and I went off to the side and discussed it, and I asked him to relay a message to Clint that I meant no disrespect, that I was extending the olive branch," he adds. "Steve called Clint in the morning the next day. And it's finito."
See? Think how much longer that DreamWorks deal would have dragged on without a guy like that at the negotiating table. Next up: Saving Mickey Mouse from Hamas.