The New York Knicks pulled out all the stops when they attempted to get LeBron James to sign with them back in the summer of 2010. And we do mean all the stops. In addition to the usual wining and dining that comes with trying to get a big-name free agent to sign with your team, the Knicks also put together a video presentation for King James. And according to a piece that ran on ESPN New York shortly after the Knicks met with LeBron, that video opened up with a pitch from none other than James Gandolfini, who passed away late yesterday from an apparent heart attack.

According to the ESPN New York report, Gandolfini and his The Sopranos co-star Edie Falco—who played Tony and Carmelo Soprano in the hit HBO series—reprised their Sopranos roles one last time specifically for LeBron. It seems he was a huge fan of the show. So the Knicks called on Gandolfini and Falco to try and convince LeBron to come to the Big Apple by talking about how great it would be to see LBJ play at MSG.

Unfortunately, the pitch didn't work. About a week later, LeBron appeared on ESPN's The Decision and revealed that he would be "taking his talents to South Beach" to play for the Miami Heat. But in light of Gandolfini's death, it's interesting to look back and consider just how influential his role as Tony Soprano really was. The fact that the Knicks put him front and center while trying to sign LeBron speaks volumes about how much of an impact he had on the world as an actor. R.I.P. 

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[via ESPN New York]