wait what?

That Time the Knicks Rebooted The Sopranos to Try and Lure LeBron James

Photo: HBO/Kobal/Shutterstock

The year, 2010. LeBron James has left the Cavs and become the biggest, baddest, soon-to-be-Space Jammiest free agent in the NBA. Everyone wants him. The Knicks want him, and how do they try to get him? Through James Gandolfini, of course. Edie Falco went on Chuck D’s podcast Shattered: Hope, Heartbreak and the New York Knicks, and let it slip that the Knicks brought back Gandolfini and Falco in a bid to lure LeBron. Who better than Jersey’s finest to recruit James to New York? According to Deadline, frequent 30 for 30 director Jonathan Hock helmed a ten-minute short that reunited the titular Sopranos. “We got those requests all the time back then and Jim Gandolfini, he did nothing. And somehow, he agreed to this thing, which I was shocked by,” Falco said. “I thought it was a prank when someone said Jim’s going to do it.”

The short was shot in Gandolfini’s apartment, and posited that Tony Soprano had been in witness protection ever since his maybe-death in the HBO show’s final episode. Alas, as anyone who watched The Decision knows, LeBron did not wind up going to New York. “I couldn’t believe that it didn’t work,” Falco said. “Not so much because of The Sopranos. I just thought, it’s New York. How does anyone say no to New York, for God’s sake? But he did!” Maybe LeBron resented that the short gave clarity to The Sopranos intentionally ambiguous finale. Ever the artiste, that guy.

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