Video Surfaces of James Gandolfini Reprising 'Sopranos' Character for Knicks' 2010 Pitch to LeBron James

The ultimately unsuccessful effort to get LeBron on the Knicks also saw Edie Falco returning to the role of Carmela Soprano.

Video via Pablo Torre Finds Out

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Video via Pablo Torre Finds Out

Fellow Sopranos enthusiasts are well aware that the late James Gandolfini reprised his role as Tony for a short video in 2010 designed to convince LeBron James, then a free agent, to join the Knicks in New York. But until this week, the actual footage of this oft-referenced moment had not been widely shared.

"They have one chance to convince the most high-profile free agent in the history of sports to come play for a franchise that desperately, desperately could use exactly that," Pablo Torre said when introducing the footage on the latest episode of the Pablo Torre Finds Out podcast. "They walk into the room and sit down and press play on a video, and it starts like this."

The video opens with text informing us that what we’re about to see takes place "somewhere in New York," two years after the events of the classic HBO series. We first hear the voice of Carmela, again played by Edie Falco, who’s talking to Tony about how their lives are "so much better now" after their move from New Jersey.

"Life’s good here, Carm, even if we are in the witness protection program," James’ Tony adds. Carmela then brings up LeBron, reminding her husband that they need to find their friend a place to live in the area.

"He’s a modern guy but he respects tradition," Tony adds of LeBron before stating that their in-demand pal deserves "something magnificent" and "one of a kind." Naturally, this leads to Carmela pulling up a photo of a familiar basketball court, which Tony swiftly approves.

We then hear a bit of Jay-Z, as a few seconds of "Public Service Announcement" off The Black Album are heard as this portion of the recruitment strategy video comes to a close. But Gandolfini and Falco weren't the only names enlisted for the effort, as seen in the full episode of Pablo Torre Finds Out above.

Of course, this newly surfaced footage shouldn't be considered canon for the larger Sopranos story on any level. Still, it's moving to see Gandolfini reuniting with Falco for a return to these beloved characters, especially when you consider that he died at the age of 51 just three years later.

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