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Sopranos Producer Reveals Knicks Wanted To Use Characters To Lure LeBron James

The Knicks decided one way to stand out from the rest was to use Tony Soprano actor James Gandolfini as the New York-based basketball chose to use its city and the star actors to make a pitch to James in what is now a lost video.

Eduardo Razo

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In the summer of 2010, the New York Knicks were one of the teams hoping to land LeBron James. Every team was pulling off all the stop lure the biggest free-agent to hit the market. 

The Knicks decided one way to stand out from the rest was to use The Sopranos cast including the late James Gandolfini as the team chose to use its city and the star actors to make a pitch to James in what is now a lost video. 

The Hollywood Reporter reveals the crazy story in a recent docuseries podcast, Shattered: Hope, Heartbreak and the New York Knicks.

Producer Rocco Caruso had the responsibility of creating the Knicks presentation that involved Gandolfini and Edie Falco. 

“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.'” 

Falco remembered making the video for the presentation in 2010 and shares that at the time, she didn’t know who James was as they created this for the Knicks. 

“I do remember doing it, and what is absolutely amazing to me is I didn’t know who LeBron James was,” Falco said. “We got those requests all the time back then, and Jim Gandolfini, he did nothing. 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.”

Caruso reveals that the scene for this video would be shot in Gandolfini’s New York apartment. The video’s premise was for the actors to reprise their Sopranos roles and connect with an old friend in James and help him find a place to live in New York, which would be Madison Square Garden. 

In the end, Gandolfini as the prominent Soprano wasn’t enough for James to choose the Knicks as he ended up heading to the Miami Heat after announcing it on “The Decision.”

Sports Online

NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Launching Podcast with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Dirty Mo Media

“New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media has announced a podcast deal with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin will host Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin on a weekly basis during the NASCAR season. The Actions Detrimental branding is verbiage used by NASCAR for fines assessed to drivers for their disparaging comments about the sport. Known as one of NASCAR’s more outspoken drivers, Hamlin has been fined several times under the “actions detrimental to stock car racing” statutes.

New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.

Denny Hamlin jokingly thanked Dirty Mo Media for the “opportunity and the fat check” the company wrote for him to host the podcast in a Twitter announcement.

The 42-year-old Hamlin has won 48 races during his 18-year NASCAR Cup Series career. In addition to serving as a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, he co-owns 23XI Racing with basketball legend Michael Jordan.

The podcast is the latest in an expansion of content produced by the Mooresville, North Carolina-based digital outlet. After beginning with The Dale Jr. Download, the company has grown to include other podcasts like Door, Bumper, Clear, and Speed Street, as well as video projects like The Next Level.

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Sports Online

Barstool Sports CEO: Golf Likely Next Step For Company’s Live Broadcasts

“I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love.”

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Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini recently did a wide-ranging interview with AdAge.com about the future of the digital sports outlet’s television aspirations, and she said sports they’re familiar with will take priority.

“”We want sports that appeal to a broad audience. We’re kind of tickled to be able to broadcast things in the first place. So I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love, whether it’s basketball and football,” Nardini said. “You could definitely see that extended to golf, that would probably be the next place that we’ll play.”

The questions about Barstool’s future aspirations come after the company’s successful first broadcast of the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl. Barstool says the broadcast received nearly 1 million views, peaking at 130,000 concurrent viewers. The outlet also broadcasted the Barstool Sports Invitational that featured Akron, Mississippi State, Toledo, and UAB in November.

Nardini added that the company is interested live televised sports for a few reasons.

“We’re owned by a sports betting company and the more we think about building our sports platform, there’s obviously a huge opportunity for us to convey a whole bunch of offerings to our audience, but certainly betting will be one of them…I think that live sports on television is the last man standing where it’s all anyone tunes in for.”

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Sports Online

Fanatics to Open First Sportsbook Inside FedEx Field

“The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Sports licensing giant Fanatics will soon be launching its long-anticipated sportsbook.

The company will open up a physical sportsbook location in Maryland at FedEx Field on January 20. Fanatics has also been granted a license to operate in Massachusetts, tethered to Plainridge Park Casino.

The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium. Bettors in the DMV will now be able to place wagers at all their local teams’ venues, as William Hill has an on-site location at Capital One Arena – home of the Capitals and Wizards – and BetMGM has a space at Nationals Park in D.C.

Despite having a physical location at FedEx Field, bettors in Maryland will not be able to place mobile wagers through a Fanatics Sportsbook app.

According to Front Office Sports, Fanatics hopes to have the sportsbook up and running in some fashion in all states where legal by September.

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