The Sopranos may have come to an end in 2007, but that doesn’t mean that James Gandolfini left his iconic character behind entirely. In the recent docuseries podcast Shattered: Hope, Heartbreak and the New York Knicks, it was revealed that Gandolfini had reprised his role of Tony Soprano in a video which was made to convince LeBron James to join the New York Knicks; not only that, but he did so alongside Edie Falco, who of course reprised her role of Carmela.
The whole idea was brought to life by producer Rocco Caruso, who was tapped to create the video for the New York Knicks in 2010. “They thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we could somehow start the piece with The Sopranos?’ because it had just more or less ended,” Caruso said. “And I said, ‘I know Edie, … I could send her an email,’ and she said ‘Great. I’ll do it.’” Despite not actually knowing who LeBron James was at the time, Falco agreed to do it, but she was shocked when Gandolfini signed on as well. “We got those requests all the time back then and Jim Gandolfini, he did nothing,” Falco recalled. “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.” The scene was shot at Gandolfini’s apartment in New York, but as the actor had grown a large beard at the time, Caruso said that they added in a line that the Sopranos were in the witness protection program. Falco said that Gandolfini was very into the scene, saying that “he must have been a bigger basketball fan than I realized.“
Ultimately, not even Tony and Carmela Soprano could convince LeBron James to play for the New York Knicks, as the basketball legend opted to join the Miami Heat instead. Although James Gandolfini has been sadly absent from our screens since his tragic death nearly ten years ago, Tony Soprano will be returning in The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel film that features Gandolfini’s son Michael playing the role. The film is slated to hit theaters and HBO Max on September 24, 2021. As for LeBron James, he’s set to star in Space Jam: A New Legacy, which is set to be released in theaters and on HBO Max on June 16, 2021.