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Nick Saban: Alabama’s barbershop show will go on despite LeBron James’ complaint

Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t scrapping a program that drew a complaint from LeBron James.

James isn’t backing down, either.

On Monday, a representative for James sent a letter on his behalf to Alabama, saying the Crimson Tide’s “Shop Talk” uses “ideas, concepts and format” from a program on the digital media platform the Cavaliers’ superstar co-founded. The letter expressed concerns about copyright infringement and intellectual property.

Last year, James’ “Uninterrupted” aired “The Shop,” where the three-time NBA champion, Golden State forward Draymond Green and others talk in a barber shop.

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Saban said he didn’t know about James’ show, and contends the concept isn’t new.

“I think LeBron James is a great player,” Saban said. “There’s been at least 20 barbershop-type things I’ve seen. I didn’t even know he had one. I’m sorry anybody could be offended by something we were just trying to have fun with. I enjoyed it and we’re going to continue to do it.”

Following Tuesday’s win over Toronto in Cleveland, James was told about Saban’s stance.

“That’s exactly what I would think he would say,” James said. “I built ‘Uninterrupted’ for a reason and for us athletes to have a platform to be able to speak about whatever we want to talk about. I respect him as a coach, but I’ll be damned if I’ll allow someone to use our platform or try to do the same thing we’re doing and just think it’s OK.”

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Although his representative’s letter to Alabama encouraged a conversation between the two sides about the matter before “rushing into legal proceedings,” James indicated Tuesday that the time for such talks may have passed.

“The lawyers will figure it out,” James said.


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