Inside LeBron James’ ‘The Shop’ — which even had Tom Brady just a little ‘nervous’

Inside LeBron James’ ‘The Shop’ — which even had Tom Brady just a little ‘nervous’

Warning: Explicit language

“The Shop” appeared to even rattle seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.

“I remember seeing Tom Brady in the chair next to me,” the present’s co-creator, Paul Rivera, lately informed The Post in regards to the Buccaneers quarterback’s Season 4 look final June. “At the time, I had executed the present sufficient that I might inform he was just a little nervous.

“But I don’t think that he was nervous from a standpoint of, ‘Wow, this platform is so big. I’m nervous to be on here.’ But he respected what we do at ‘The Shop’ and he wanted to do well. Me, as a fan of football and Tom, I was like, ‘You’re Tom Brady. You’re the goat. How are you nervous for our little show?’ That was a pretty cool moment. I’ve honestly taken it as the ultimate compliment that people of his stature even care to be nervous.”

So, what actually goes on inside Uninterrupted’s “The Shop” — the protected haven Rivera helped create for sports activities and popular culture’s largest stars to talk their thoughts in significant conversations led by LeBron James and his enterprise companion, Maverick Carter?

The cast of "The Shop"
The Post was on-site for an upcoming episode of “The Shop”
Akilah Townsend / UNINTERRUPTED

The Post was on set of “The Shop” at All-Star weekend in Cleveland final month for a behind-the-scenes take a look at the brand new fifth season, which premiered March 4. We had been available for the taping of episode two — premiering Friday, April 8 — that options rappers Rick Ross and Gunna, Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson, and enterprise maven Steve Stoute.

A Sports Emmy Award-winning discuss present, “The Shop” unites athletes, politicians, and celebrities — resembling Brady, Mary J. Blige, former President Barack Obama, and Jay-Z — inside a barbershop, the place haircuts are carried out on-site.

When company arrive on the set of “The Shop,” they’re requested on-site in the event that they’d like a haircut and the recent towel VIP therapy. Many company have gotten haircuts on the present, together with Draymond Green and Charles Oakley, whereas rappers Jay-Z and Nas selected to not get haircuts throughout their respective appearances on the present, in accordance with Nick “Slick” Castellanos, James’ private barber.

“Uninterrupted has always been a family to me and that same energy continues with them whether it’s on The Shop or Throwing Bones,” Green stated. “Yes, the cameras are there, but it’s us talking mess to one another or talking through something we’re going through, and finding community through it.”

The episode through which The Post obtained an inside look was filmed on the Black Cat barbershop, which is situated on Cleveland’s West Side within the historic Gordon Square Arts District, about 50 minutes from James’ iPromise School. The widespread Cleveland barbershop sits on a quiet nook alongside a vacant constructing. It’s slender inside and has an edgy, rock-and-roll vibe with vintage furnishings and decor.

Pulling up

A'ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces appears on "The Shop"
A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces seems on “The Shop”
Akilah Townsend / UNINTERRUPTED

When the Uber arrives on the Victorian-esque constructing, it’s laborious to think about what’s going on inside. James, Carter, and the company had been inside speaking in regards to the that means of Gunna’s newest hit (“Pushin P”), the second Wilson knew she deserved a max contract (signed in February), and why the primary million-dollar verify is the toughest to make.

The crew is organising cameras and adjusting the lighting. Each barber chair had a seat task. Grey Goose bottles sat in-between James and Carter’s chairs, though James and Wilson selected to drink purple wine all through the episode.

Guests are in a position to drink no matter they’d like all through the taping of “The Shop,” which might final wherever from half-hour to 5 hours, relying on the extent and move of the dialog and what number of drinks have been consumed. Guests of the present are requested to submit their drink orders forward of filming.

“The Shop” has been taped in cities everywhere in the US, together with Los Angeles and Charlotte, in addition to Toronto throughout All-Star weekend in 2019.

“The Shop” will select a barbershop location in whichever metropolis they plan to movie and work with the store proprietor to acquire entry to the area. This generally is a course of, as is coordinating schedules to get James and company — resembling Brady — in a single room collectively.  

A peek inside the Black Cat barbershop in Cleveland, Ohio
A peek contained in the Black Cat barbershop in Cleveland, Ohio
Akilah Townsend / UNINTERRUPTED

When it comes to selecting company for every episode, Rivera stated it’s all about discovering the correct folks that may make for essentially the most dynamic dialog.

“That’s why you’ll never see us in the shop discussing who the top five rappers are, or who the greatest basketball player is. Although we do have a point of view on that as you can imagine,” he stated, smirking. “It’s about the richest of conversations. That’s what ‘The Shop’ started as — we wanted to a create a fly-on-the-wall experience for people to learn, be empowered, and be inspired from these conversations.”

It actually is a fly-on-the-wall expertise. The cameras are hidden with the intention to create an genuine atmosphere. There aren’t crew members working round to movie sure angles, and the lights don’t really feel like they’re burning the highest of your head or inflicting the room to overheat. It’s really a relaxed ambiance that makes you’re feeling at dwelling, sitting across the desk, speaking to buddies.

Brady made headlines throughout his look. At the time, he was discussing his 2020 free company expertise and remarked, “One of the teams, they weren’t interested at the very end. I was thinking, ‘You’re sticking with that motherf–ker?”

“It’s interesting to have a Tom Brady in a room, who’s just one of the most guarded athletes and the greatest to ever do it, and put him in a room with Draymond Green, who’s one of the most outspoken athletes,” Rivera stated. “We’re having fun putting rooms [of guests] together, we’re having fun saying, ‘Hey, it would be fun to have Chelsea Handler in a room with Draymond Green.’”

A brand new dwelling

LeBron James (right) with business partner Maverick Carter
Maverick Carter and LeBron James are enterprise companions
Akilah Townsend / UNINTERRUPTED

“The Shop” now airs solely on Uninterrupted’s YouTube channel following 4 seasons on HBO, due partly to an enormous growth at SpringHill Co. — the leisure and manufacturing firm based by James and Carter.

“The idea is that ‘The Shop’ isn’t just a TV show. It’s a franchise,” Rivera stated whereas discussing the present’s growth from HBO to Uninterrupted’s YouTube channel.

Jamal Henderson, the chief content material officer on the SpringHill Co., stated that nothing will change by way of a present standpoint. Viewers will nonetheless see James and company of the present getting actual haircuts whereas sipping cocktails over unscripted conversations about sports activities, music, celeb, and tradition. 

Rapper Rick Ross appears on "The Shop"
Rick Ross seems on “The Shop”
Akilah Townsend / UNINTERRUPTED

“We’re just building on our mission of empowerment and we’re excited to continue to the show and reach more people through video and audio,” he stated.

The growth of “The Shop” additionally features a branded males’s grooming line; a multi-platform audio-exclusive model of “The Shop” in its conventional format; and a devoted flagship barbershop location in Los Angeles for activations, in-person moments, filming and extra. 

“We will not only film the show there, but fans will also be able to get a haircut in the same chair that LeBron gets a haircut in,” Rivera stated.

Yes, the haircuts actually occur

(From left) Nick "Slick" Castellanos, Vince Garcia, and Lionel "Brownie Blendz" Harris of "The Shop"
Nick “Slick” Castellanos, Vince Garcia, and Lionel “Brownie Blendz” Harris of “The Shop”
Akilah Townsend / UNINTERRUPTED

“The barbers are not extras,” Henderson stated. “Those are real barbers and it brings authenticity to the set.”

Since the present is unscripted and targeted on authenticity, Henderson stated, “We don’t really do a lot of takes. We just let the conversation flow.” Except for the time Ross had to make use of the restroom whereas taping in Cleveland and James playfully known as him out.

“I know there’s been a lot of chatter on social media, like ‘Are they real barbers?’ or ‘Does anyone get a real haircut?,’” stated Rivera, who famous that “Maverick and I get a haircut every episode.”

Castellanos has been a mainstay on the present since its inception in 2018. He was really Dwyane Wade’s private barber earlier than shifting on to James after the Heat legend found him in Miami.

Castellanos is one in every of 4 essential barbers on “The Shop,” together with Vince Garcia, who has minimize celebrities and athletes resembling James, Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, Travis Kelce, Victor Cruz, Ludacris, Drake, and Fabolous.

A close-up of the tools inside "The Shop"
A detailed-up of the instruments inside “The Shop”
Akilah Townsend / UNINTERRUPTED

“I’m actually in Phoenix once a week to cut Devin Booker and a bunch of the guys on the Suns,” Garcia informed The Post.

Lionel “Brownie Blendz” Harris obtained his gig on “The Shop” by his buddy, Warriors star Green, who helped introduce him to the Uninterrupted manufacturing crew. Harris beforehand served because the barber for a number of Raiders gamers when the crew was in Oakland.

“We don’t have time to pre-prep,” Castellanos stated about doing haircuts whereas filming. “Everything we do is right there and we do what we can, but we don’t get in the way of the cameras. So, when we’re done filming the episode, we’ll just finish haircuts after if guests want to hang around. But we actually put razors on necks, we put clippers on heads, we brush hair — we do the whole nine.”

Once director Rob Alexander yells motion, the barbers are tasked with doing their job whereas remaining as quiet as attainable in order that the cameras and microphones don’t decide up their sounds or that of their devices.

“Me, Vince, and Nick are skilled enough to whisper and converse with the client and work around [production] and do what needs to be done on set,” Harris stated. “But the cutting we’re doing is real. We’ve done whole haircuts on the show in early seasons.”

Garcia recalled, “There was one episode we were filming and I was doing my thing and I went to the back and Nick came up to me and said, ‘They’re pissed off at you bro. It’s way too loud.’”

The barbers laughed, eager about the second, and stated they now use clippers and different instruments with quieter motors.

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