Tony Soprano "Lebron James" (found Knicks pitch video for American professional basketball player; 2010)

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James Gandolfini (left) and Lebron James (right).

Status: Found

Date found: 16 Apr 2024

Found by: Pablo Torre

In the summer of 2010, American professional basketball player, Lebron James' contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers was up, and many NBA teams wanted a piece of him. Many teams tried to get his signature but failed. However, the New York Knicks decided to make an unusual plan, and invited actor, James Gandolfini to play his legendary character one more time in a 10-minute pitch video to get Lebron James' signature.[1]


According to the podcast, "Shattered: Hope, Heartbreak and the New York Knicks" by The Athletics, The Knicks discovered that Lebron James was a big fan of The Sopranos. Although the show ended in 2007 with their infamous ending, They managed to convince Falco and James Gandolfini to play Tony and Carmela Soprano one more time to lure Lebron James into the New York Knicks.[2] Falco thought that the concept was a prank before seeing Gandolfini agree to the idea, quote:

"We got those requests all the time back then and Jim Gandolfini, he did nothing," she explained, still surprised that Gandolfini agreed. "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. And there we were, dressed as our characters. And I was thinking, 'This can't possibly be happening.'"[3]

The video was shot in Gandolfini's New York apartment and not the Sopranos' house in New Jersey. The premise was about The Sopranos being friends with Lebron James and were gonna find a place for him, being the Madison Square Garden. Producer Rocco Caruso recalls Gandolfini having a thick, black beard which they rewrote the script that Tony entered the Witness Protection program because of it.[4] Even though it was a good pitch, Lebron didn't pick the team, and instead went to the Miami heat.


On April 16th, 2024, former ESPNer, Pablo Torre, unearthed the pitch video after a long extensive search on his podcast, becoming found.



Pablo Torre’s video, showing the once-lost pitch video (starts at 9:16)


Tifo Basketball's video on the subject.

The Hollywood Reporter's video on the subject.

Dish Nation's video on the subject.

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