James Gandolfini (as Tony Soprano) tried to convince LeBron James to play for the Knicks

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Sam Barsanti
·2 min read
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James Gandolfini and Edie Falco on The Sopranos
James Gandolfini and Edie Falco on The Sopranos

A Sopranos prequel movie called The Many Saints Of Newark is going to hit HBO Max later this year, but it turns out that a sequel to the hit HBO series has existed for a decade and that nobody has ever seen it—and maybe never will. The plot of the sequel is that Tony and Carmela Soprano, having entered the witness protection program after the events of the original series, have come together to… ask LeBron James to sign with the New York Knicks. So it’s not necessarily a crucial part of the Sopranos canon, and we’re not entirely sure that it even is part of the Sopranos canon, but we choose to believe that this is what Tony and Carmela decided to do with their time after (evidently) surviving whatever happened in that diner.

Now, to be clear, this Sopranos sequel was really just part of a weirdly complicated scheme to stop James from going to the Miami Heat back in 2010, with Edie Falco (who played Carmela on The Sopranos) revealing its existence during an appearance on Chuck D’s podcast Shattered: Hope, Heartbreak, And The New York Knicks. She says that she and James Gandolfini filmed it for 30 For 30 filmmaker Jonathan Hock and Gandolfini’s apartment, and Falco was shocked when Gandolfini agreed to play Tony Soprano again since he had previously refused to do anything like that.

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The 10-minute short also included appearances from Knicks fan Spike Lee and New York guy Robert De Niro, plus (inexplicably) a third person who will go unnamed but whose occasional proximity to New York is one of the main reasons to never go there. The video obviously didn’t work, because LeBron James went to Miami instead, and so now this fascinating piece of television history—a real canonical sequel to The Sopranos that definitively proves Tony and Carmela survived the finale!—has been lost to history. It’s unclear who, if anyone, has a copy, but surely LeBron James must have a link to it somewhere on an old email address, right? You don’t just delete a video where a famous villain and also Tony Soprano tell you to play basketball in New York.

[via Deadline]