VIDEO: LeBron James speaks to the media before Game 7 of the NBA Finals

The late James Gandolfini twice made offers to LeBron James to join the Knicks that that world's best player refused. Gandolfini, who died of an apparent heart attack on Wednesday while vacationing in Italy, was recruited by the Knicks to appear in a video that the club presented to LeBron when they visited the free agent in July 2010. In the video, the Sopranos stars, Gandolfini and Edie Falco, reprised their roles as New Jersey's favorite mafia couple and explained to James why signing a free agent contract with the Knicks was in his best interests. Lynne Sladky/AP LeBron James, who resisted the pitch from the late Sopranos star, is attempting to get his hands on a second Larry O'Brien trophy with the Miami Heat Thursday night. One month prior to the NBA's official free agent recruiting, Gandolfini was presenting at Spike TV's Guys Choice Awards and made his first pitch to LeBron, who was seated in the audience. RELATED: GANDOLFINI'S FRIENDS: ACTOR SEEMED FINE A FEW DAYS AGO "First things first, LeBron I would like you to come to New York, if you could," Gandolfini said. "If you miss Cleveland, you just have to drive across the bridge to New Jersey, it's pretty much the same thing." LeBron, of course, elected to sign with the Miami Heat and on Thursday he'll attempt to win his second straight NBA title.









James answered at least one question on Wednesday when he said he plans to wear the headband with which he has been so identified throughout his career in the finale against the San Antonio Spurs. The headband came off in the fourth quarter of Tuesdays 103-100 overtime victory as he blocked a shot by Spurs forward Tim Duncan. James never put it back on, and proceeded to power the Heat from behind. He scored 16 of his game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter. Twitter exploded with comments during that quarter and the overtime, and LeBrons Headband accounts suddenly were created (there was at least one previously existing account). LeBron seemed to enjoy the questions about his headband during Wednesdays media availability in Miami. Asked if he will go back to the headband tonight, he laughed and told reporters: Ill probably start off with it, man. A little superstitious. If it gets knocked off, then me and him will have a discussion if he will return. As for the last time he played without one: My rookie year preseason. I started the preseason off not playing I think we were in Detroit in my rookie year.









Whitman even mentored Elvis Presley. He encouraged the king to dream big. Whitman died of heart failure Wednesday at a Florida hospital. He was 90 years old. (AP Photo) Video: Bull Charges Man in Red There was a terrifying example of man-versus-beast caught on tape in Spain. A 400-pound bull escaped from a truck and barreled down a busy highway, charging oncoming cars. A bright red shirt caught his eye and the bull went full steam ahead for a man on a sidewalk. Passersby ran to help but, somehow, the man wrestled the beast to the ground and even got him into a headlock.









Theyre the greatest players of their respective generations, and tonight, only one can add to their record of Game 7 dominance. This will be James second consecutive Game 7. The Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 4-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals, and LeBron finished with 33 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block. James and the Heat also took seven games to defeat the Boston Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. LeBron was absolutely spectacular in that game, with 32 points and 12 rebounds. James lost his first two Game 7s, though. The Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Detroit Pistons in Game 7 of the 2006 Eastern Conference semifinals. James scored 27 points and collected 10 rebounds. In the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals, the Cavs fell to the Celtics despite LeBrons 45-point performance.







"I want to go down as one of the greatest," James said Wednesday. "I want our team to go down as one of the greatest teams and we have an opportunity to do that. "My only goal is to win championships. This is what I came here for. This is what I wanted to be a part of this team for. As far as validation, that side doesn't really matter to me about what validates us coming together. But I want it." The Heat's unforgettable 103-100 overtime win in Game 6 set up the 18th Game 7 in NBA Finals history.





LeBron James Is Terrible at Being Superstitious





Considering Dirk is and will probably always be my favorite player, I feel for James. Dirk's been bullied, pushed, grabbed, bumped and even bitten all through his career with little to show for it. I'm not supporting "superstar treatment", but the fact is that the referees have missed some major fouls against LeBron (very possibly because he is a physical beast who does things a player his size isn't supposed to, somewhat similar to Dirk), and it sucks. Anyway, let's be honest: LeBron is amazing to watch. Acrobatic layups are cool. High-flying dunks are cooler. Watching a 6'8" player run an offense and pick apart a defense with a pass?









When it comes to views on James, the public has strong opinions. Many consider him the spoiled kid who left his hometown team in the dust to chase championships with his current Miami Heat . Others view James as the opposite. They see him as a player who never received any help as a Cleveland Cavalier and now root for him to get every ring possible in South Beach. No matter what side of the argument one falls on it remains clear that James is on everyones mind. But the obvious question is why hasnt the hate of James subsided? Its been almost three years since the television special announcing his intentions to leave Cleveland.









James said he didn't have any pregame speech prepared for his team but wasn't ruling it out, either. James also talked about what his kids told him before he left the house, "Good luck," and fielded some hilariously out-of-place questions from visiting media. Overall, James' tone was more serious than his normal pregame presser, as you'd expect. The crown weighs heavy, so to speak. The Heat distributed small laminated cards with this biblical quote to each locker before the game: Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. - Joshua 1:9









They leave and remain friends. There have been more of those days lately, because Wade has been hurt and James has been frustrated. James seems to know that if Wade and Chris Bosh cost Miami the championship, the blame will go to James. This is silly, and partly due to our revisionist nonsense that Michael Jordan never had a bad game, and the implication that James can only be compared to Jordan. It is nonsense on multiple levels. In Game 6 of the 1992 Eastern Conference semis, when Jordan was at his playing peak, he shot 9 for 25 for 21 points and had seven turnovers in Madison Square Garden. John Starks clearly outplayed him and the Knicks forced Game 7.









The Heat rallied, sent the game into overtime, and came away with one of the most incredible wins you'll ever see. Let's be clear: James was far from flawless sans headband. In fact, in the climactic final minute of the fourth quarter, he was actually pretty awful, turning the ball over on consecutive plays. Overall, though, the contrast between James's play with and without the headband was stark: LeBron's stats with and without the headband in Game 6 ... How big a difference did it really make? pic.twitter.com/rf8jQHbFkO Via Pop Chart Lab Obviously, this is a very small sample size. Also, as we all learned in middle-school math class, correlation does not imply causation. There is no sensible explanation for why the absence of a headband would drastically improve James's performance. You could come up with some theories,but they're all dumb. However, let's say James is a superstitious person.