That’s a headline that you don’t expect to see in the year 2020, right? LeBron James may be on his third team since infamously being a part of “The Decision” on ESPN in 2010, but that won’t stop us from talking about that night that saw LeBron take his talents from Cleveland to South Beach. Last night, ESPN aired a special called “The Backstory” that covered “The Decision” prompting people to talk about it today. Bill Simmons of The Ringer talked about it on his self-titled podcast, remembering just how disastrous the Knicks’ pitch to LeBron was at the time (also saying that the Knicks were truly LeBron’s number one option at one point).
LeBron reportedly did not even give the Knicks a second meeting, after the first one involved James Gandolfini and Edie Falco of “The Sopranos” reprising their roles to indulge LeBron in the classic New York lifestyle (this was originally reported in 2010 by Ian O’Conner and ESPN).
Wait, what (h/t Tyler Conway and Bleacher Report for transcribing).
The meeting, which Simmons described as a “disaster,” went so poorly that James did not grant the Knicks a second chance to sit down before signing with the Miami Heat. While the Knicks went all-in on glitz in their presentation—even hiring James Gandolfini and Edie Falco to reprise their roles as Tony and Carmela Soprano—their pitch was completely lacking in long-term vision on the court.
Believe it or not, James Gandolfini and Edie Falco reprising their roles from “The Sopranos” did not make LeBron James decide to plant himself in New York for the next few years while he sought his first championship. This is just another instance in the James Dolan reign that has continually made the Knicks into a laughing stock. Just imagine Tony Soprano asking LeBron if he’d like any “gabagool” from the meat and cheese plate that the Knicks laid out for everyone. Or imagine one of Tony’s buddies interrupting a convo between the boss and LeBron, saying that “Jackie is sleeping with the fishes”.
Just like “The Sopranos”, the Knicks’ hopes of signing LeBron quickly transitioned to black, as this over-the-top stunt did not impress LeBron.
Also, R.I.P. to the great James Gandolfini who passed away three years after this in 2013 due to a heart attack. A legend of television.