Making The Cut: LeBron James And Friends Talk Life, Family, Sports On HBO’s The Shop
Friday, July 27, 2018 at 06:54PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in HBO, LeBron James, Media, NBA, The Shop, sports media

By Barry Janoff

July 26, 2018: LeBron James has had a busy off-season, signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, attending NBA Summer League games, watching his sons play AAU Basketball and now launching The Shop on HBO.

James, partner Maverick Carter and their Uninterrupted digital media company are the powers behind The Shop.

It is a casual talk show-type setting that seeks to emulate experiences James and many others have had in which the local barbershop is the focal point for sometimes easy, sometimes heated, conversation among friends and others from the neighborhood.

The Shop is exactly why we created Uninterrupted,” James said in a statement. “Anyone who has been in a real barbershop, like the ones where I grew up, knows why this show can be so incredible.

"I’m really excited HBO believed in our idea and is helping us create something special.”

The Shop, is scheduled to debut on HBO Aug. 28. It will air periodically throughout the year, according to HBO.

This is the second programming alliance between HBO Sports and James and Carter’s media enterprises.

Earlier this year, HBO Sports unveiled a SpringHill Entertainment production of the college sports documentary film, Student Athlete, set to debut Oct. 2.

The Shop will visit barber shops around the country to "gather distinguished individuals who can speak honestly on sports, music, pop culture, world events, business and other culturally relevant topics."

Among the guests on the first show are rap icon Snoop Dogg, NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants), running back Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints), three-time NBA champion Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks) and writer, producer, director, and political commentator Jon Stewart.

The guests play a huge role. Snoop Dogg, for example, talks about the motivations that drive him.

“I never was cool with being second. I don’t know what second place feels like. I don’t like being in second place. Sometimes I feel I have to reinvent myself because I fell back to second. (I know) I’m not that young rapper anymore; I’m not that fly MC. But I still can pull a move on them m-f’ers real quick. Pop-pop-pop.”

According to Peter Nelson, evp-HBO Sports, “LeBron James told us he wanted to create a place where athletes and artists can come together to share points of view freely.

“We are honored they want HBO to be the home of that conversation. We are pleased to partner with LeBron, Maverick Carter and Uninterrupted on The Shop.”

In the first episode, James, sitting in a barbershop chair, talks about signing with the Lakers, watching his kids play basketball and getting into an argument during an AAU Basketball game with another kid’s mother.

“The first thing I did (after the argument) was apologize to my mom (Gloria James), who was sitting right next to me,” James recalls. “She used to go crazy during my AAU games and I would yell, ‘Mom, sit down!’ And I went crazy about my kids and I said to her, ‘Mom, I’m sorry (for yelling at you)’”

He also talks about growing up without a father (he was raised by his mom) and says that he now wants to give his kids experiences he didn’t have.

“I'm going to do everything this man (his father) didn’t do. They will experience things I didn’t experience. I will give them a blueprint and let them take their own course when the time comes.”

Executive producers for The Shop are James, Carter, Peter Nelson and Rick Bernstein; supervising producer is Bentley Weiner.

It will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.

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