Sopranos star James Gandolfini filmed a secret pitch for LeBron James during his 2010 Free Agency. The reunion was proposed by New York Knicks management as a part of their effort to get the NBA All-Star to sign with their club. James was a big fan of the show and other organizations tried stuff like this to try and woo him. (Believe it or not, Cleveland actually used a Family Guy-style cartoon to sell him on staying home.) During an appearance on Chuck D's podcast Shattered: Hope Heartbreak and the New York Knicks, Edie Falco described what happened. She didn't even know who James was before the idea got floated. It astounded everyone that Gandolfini was down for this. Imagine the crew's surprise when they showed up and the actor was dressed like Tony Soprano again. It's a wild time.
"I couldn't believe that it didn't work," Falco explained on the podcast. "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!"
"I do remember doing it and what is absolutely amazing to me is I didn't know who LeBron James was," she added. "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. I thought it was a prank when someone said Jim's going to do it."
Jonathan Hock, an acclaimed filmmaker from ESPN's 30 for 30 film series, handled the 10 minute short. He recruited Donald Trump, Robert De Niro, and Spike Lee to be a part of the project. Being a Knicks fan might have been rough for the last decade. But, when it comes to star-power among the fanbase, there are few other teams that compare to the Big Apple.
HBO Max describes The Sopranos down below:
Hailed as one of television's essential dramas, The Sopranos follows James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano: husband, father, and mob boss whose professional and private strains land him in the office of his therapist. Created by David Chase.
You can stream all six seasons of the show on the HBO Max app right now.
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