In LeBron James’ “The Shop” – which even made Tom Brady a little “nervous”.

Warning: Explicit language

“The Shop” even seemed to rock seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.

“I remember seeing Tom Brady in the chair next to me,” series co-creator Paul Rivera recently told The Post of the Buccaneers quarterback’s appearance in Season 4 last June. “By the time I had done the show enough to see that he was a little nervous.

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

So what’s really going on in Uninterrupted’s “The Shop” — the safe haven Rivera helped create for sports and pop culture’s biggest stars to have their say in meaningful conversations led by LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter ?

The cast of "The store"
The Post was there for an upcoming episode of The Shop
Akilah Townsend / CONTINUOUS

The Post was on the set of The Shop at All-Star Weekend in Cleveland last month for a behind-the-scenes look at the new fifth season, which premiered March 4th. We were on location for the taping of the second episode – premiere – Friday April 8th – with rappers Rick Ross and Gunna, Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson and business whiz Steve Stoute.

A Sports Emmy Award-winning talk show, The Shop brings together athletes, politicians, and celebrities—like Brady, Mary J. Blige, former President Barack Obama, and Jay-Z—in a hair salon that performs haircuts. Side? site.

When guests arrive on set of The Shop, they will be asked on site if they would like a haircut and the VIP hot towel treatment. Many guests have had their hair cut on the show, including Draymond Green and Charles Oakley, while rappers Jay-Z and Nas have opted not to have their hair cut during their respective appearances on the show, according to Nick “Slick “ Castellanos, James’ personal hairdresser.

The episode, which The Post glimpsed, was filmed at the Black Cat Barbershop, located on Cleveland’s West Side in the historic Gordon Square Arts District, about 50 minutes from James’ iPromise School. The popular Cleveland Barbershop occupies a quiet corner next to a derelict building. It’s cramped inside and has a quirky rock-and-roll vibe with antique furniture and decor.

pulling up

A'ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces performs "The store"
Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson Appears on The Shop
Akilah Townsend / CONTINUOUS

When the Uber arrives at the Victorian building, it’s hard to imagine what’s going on inside. James, Carter and the guests spoke indoors about the meaning of Gunna’s latest hit (“Pushin P”), the moment Wilson knew she deserved a Max contract (signed in February) and why the first million dollar deal -Check is the hardest to make.

The crew sets up cameras and adjusts the lighting. Each barber chair had a seat assignment. Bottles of Gray Goose stood between James and Carter’s chairs, although James and Wilson drank red wine throughout the episode.

Guests are free to drink whatever they like during the recording of The Shop, which can last anywhere from 30 minutes to five hours, depending on the level and flow of the conversation and how many drinks were consumed. Show guests are asked to place their drink orders prior to filming.

“The Shop” was recorded in cities across the US including Los Angeles and Charlotte as well as Toronto during All-Star Weekend 2019.

The Shop will select a barbershop location in the city they wish to film in and work with the shop owner to gain access to the space. This can be a process, as can coordinating schedules to get James and guests — like Brady — together in a room.

A look inside the Black Cat Barbershop in Cleveland, Ohio
A look inside the Black Cat Barbershop in Cleveland, Ohio
Akilah Townsend / CONTINUOUS

When it comes to guest selection for each episode, Rivera says, it’s all about finding the right people to provide the most dynamic entertainment.

“That’s why you’ll never see us in the store discussing who the top five rappers are or who the greatest basketball player is. Though we have opinions on that, as you can imagine,” he said with a grin. “It’s about the most fruitful conversations. That’s what ‘The Shop’ started with – we wanted to create a groundbreaking experience so people would learn, be empowered and inspired by those conversations.”

It’s truly a fly-on-the-wall experience. The cameras are hidden to create an authentic environment. There are no crew members running around filming specific angles, and the lights don’t feel like they’re burning your head or overheating the room. It’s actually a quiet atmosphere that makes you feel at home sitting around the table and chatting with friends.

Brady made headlines during his performance. At the time, he spoke about his free agency experience in 2020, noting, “One of the teams ended up not being interested. I thought, ‘You stay with that motherfucker?’

“It’s interesting to have a Tom Brady in a room who’s just one of the most guarded athletes and the biggest that’s ever done and put him in a room with Draymond Green who’s one of the most outspoken athletes ‘ Rivera said. “We have fun building rooms [of guests] Together we have fun saying, ‘Hey, it would be fun to have Chelsea Handler in the same room with Draymond Green.’”

A new home

LeBron James (right) with business partner Maverick Carter
Maverick Carter and LeBron James are business partners
Akilah Townsend / CONTINUOUS

“The Shop” now airs exclusively on the Uninterrupted YouTube channel after four seasons on HBO, in part due to a massive expansion at SpringHill Co. – the entertainment and production company founded by James and Carter.

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

Jamal Henderson, the chief content officer at SpringHill Co., said the show’s standpoint will not change. Viewers will still see James and the show’s guests getting real haircuts while sipping cocktails while engaging in unscripted conversations about sports, music, celebrity and culture.

Rapper Rick Ross performs "The store"
Rick Ross Appears on The Shop
Akilah Townsend / CONTINUOUS

“We’re just building on our mission of empowerment and look forward to continuing the show and reaching more people through video and audio,” he said.

The expansion of The Shop also includes a branded men’s grooming line; an audio-exclusive, multi-platform version of The Shop in its traditional format; and a dedicated flagship barbershop location in Los Angeles for activations, personal moments, filming and more.

“Not only will we be filming the show there, but fans will be able to get a haircut in the same chair that LeBron gets a haircut,” Rivera said.

Yes, the haircuts are really happening

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

“The barbers aren’t extras,” Henderson said. “These are real barbers and that brings authenticity to the set.”

Because the show is unscripted and focused on authenticity, Henderson said, “We don’t really do a lot of takes. We just let the conversation flow.” Except for the time Ross had to use the restroom while recording in Cleveland and James playfully called him out.

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

Castellanos has been a mainstay of the show since its inception in 2018. He was actually Dwyane Wade’s personal hairstylist before joining James after the Heat legend spotted him in Miami.

Castellanos is one of four main hairstylists on The Shop, including Vince Garcia, who has cut celebrities and athletes such as James, Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, Travis Kelce, Victor Cruz, Ludacris, Drake and Fabolous.

A closeup of the tools inside "The store"
A closeup of the tools in The Shop
Akilah Townsend / CONTINUOUS

“I’m actually in Phoenix once a week to cut Devin Booker and some guys from the Suns,” Garcia told the Post.

Lionel “Brownie Blendz” Harris landed his appearance on “The Shop” through his friend, Warriors star Green, who helped introduce him to the Uninterrupted production crew. Harris previously served as a hairstylist for several Raiders players while the team was in Oakland.

“We don’t have time to prepare,” Castellanos said of the haircuts during 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’re just going to cut their hair if the guests want to hang out. But we actually put razors on our heads, we put clippers on our heads, we brush hair — we do the whole nine.”

As soon as director Rob Alexander screams action, the barbers are tasked with doing their job while remaining as quiet as possible so the cameras and mics don’t pick up their sounds or those of their instruments.

“Me, Vince and Nick are skilled enough to whisper and talk and work around with the client [production] and do what needs to be done on set,” Harris said. “But the cut we make is real. We did whole haircuts on the show in the early seasons.”

Garcia recalls, “There was an episode we were shooting and I was doing my thing and I went in the back and Nick came up to me and said, ‘They’re mad at you bro. It’s way too loud.'”

The barbers laughed, reflected on the moment and said that they now use clippers and other tools with quieter motors. In LeBron James’ “The Shop” – which even made Tom Brady a little “nervous”.


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