James Gandolfini Reprised Beloved “Sopranos” Role — to Recruit LeBron James — in Unearthed Footage from 2010

The footage, which is the only time the late actor and Edie Falco reprised their roles as Tony and Carmela Soprano, was believed to be lost for years

<p>Craig Blankenhorn/HBO/Courtesy Everett Collection; Broadimage/Shutterstock </p> James Gandolfini (left) and LeBron James

Craig Blankenhorn/HBO/Courtesy Everett Collection; Broadimage/Shutterstock

James Gandolfini (left) and LeBron James

Three years after the finale of The Sopranos aired, James Gandolfini and Edie Falco reprised their roles as Tony and Carmela Soprano — but the footage was believed to be lost.

The actors had reunited in 2010 to take part in a montage video put together by the New York Knicks in an effort to recruit then-free agent LeBron James to come to New York City, but as The Hollywood Reporter wrote in 2021, the video — which captured the only time Tony and Carmela Soprano returned to the screen – was deemed lost.

On the April 16 episode of Pablo Torre’s podcast, Pablo Torre Finds Out, the unearthed video gave fans their first — and only — look at what came next for one of TV’s most beloved pairs in a clip that took place “two years” after the series finale came to an abrupt end after the screen cut to black.

Related: James Gandolfini's Sopranos Family Remember His Brilliance on Set — and Joke He Was a 'Maniac' Between Takes (Exclusive)

In the clip, Carmela tells her husband, “Tony, I’m so glad we moved to New York. Life is so much better now.”

“Yeah. Life’s good here, Car. Even if we are in the Witness Protection Program," he responds.

“Now we’ve just got to find a place for your friend LeBron to live,” Carmela says. “What’s he like?”

“Well he’s a modern guy, but he respects tradition,” Tony says of the athlete, who is now 39.

Carmela suggests a “classy” and “very expensive” apartment on the city’s east side, but Tony replies, “You’ve gotta find something magnificent. Something there’s nothing in the world like it. One of a kind, like he is.”

<p>HBO/Courtesy Everett Collection</p> Edie Falco and James Gandolfini in season 2 of 'The Sopranos'

HBO/Courtesy Everett Collection

Edie Falco and James Gandolfini in season 2 of 'The Sopranos'

“Oh, here’s a place. Says it gets really loud here,” Carmela says, and Tony walks over to see what she’s looking at on her computer: Madison Square Garden, a.k.a. the home of the Knicks. “Oh yeah, yeah that’s it. That’s gonna be perfect for him.”

The actors then both look at the camera with a smirk on their faces as JAY-Z’s “Public Service Announcement” begins to play.

The full video, which Torre said was about 10 minutes long, also featured other notable New Yorkers including Spike Lee, Robert De Niro and Chris Rock.

Related: Edie Falco Reveals Her Kids Have Never Seen The Sopranos: 'They're So Over It' (Exclusive)

In 2021, Falco, 60, appeared on The Atlantic’s podcast, Shattered: Hope, Heartbreak & the New York Knicks, and recalled filming the scene with her late costar, who died of a heart attack at age 51 in 2013.

“We got those requests all the time back then, and Jim Gandolfini, he did nothing. It was impossible to get him to do an interview,” she admitted. “And somehow he agreed to this thing, which I was shocked by.”

<p>Anthony Neste/Getty</p> James Gandolfini and Edie Falco on 'The Sopranos'

Anthony Neste/Getty

James Gandolfini and Edie Falco on 'The Sopranos'

Falco said that prior to the Knicks, “nobody had the audacity” to ask her and her costar to “reprise the characters.”

“There we were, dressed as our characters. I remember thinking, ‘This can’t possibly be happening. Is this really happening?’ What’s even worse: it didn’t work. [James] didn’t even come to the Knicks," she said.

The actress added that the “witness protection program” part of the script came about naturally, because Gandolfini had a beard when they were shooting, and he offered up that idea to explain it. Rocco Caruso, who created the Knicks video, said that they “rewrote the script around that,” per THR.

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