LeBron James and his camp believed that Alabama ripped off their idea and considered it as copyright infringement after releasing a teaser for a barbershop talk format featuring coach Nick Saban and other football players.
On its official Twitter account, Alabama Football released a trailer for “The Shop” showing Saban, Julio Jones, Eddie Jackson, and Ryan Anderson talking about the game they love, among other things. The caption read, “Shop Talk Episode 1 coming soon! #RollTide #BamaCuts.”
The location of the shoot was held in Bama Cuts, which is being managed by The Crimson Tide, located right within the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility. The barbershop opened in February of this year.
The problem is that the concept was already used by James as Uninterrupted released two installments for the same format, which is called “The Shop.”
Uninterrupted is James’ multi-media platform, which he developed with childhood friend and high school teammate Maverick Carter. The digital platform releases original content and interviews with sports athletes and celebrities.
The letter sent to the Alabama Football program and Saban read, “Your continued exploitation of ‘Shop Talk’ infringes ‘UNINTERRUPTED’s’ copyright, trademark rights and other valuable intellectual property rights in ‘The Shop’ and significantly damages ‘UNINTERRUPTED’s’ commercial prospects for ‘The Shop.'”
James’ camp said that the first episode for “The Shop” drew in four million views on different digital platforms. The pilot was released during the 2017 NBA Finals.
However, they are not keen on filing a copyright infringement lawsuit without talking first with the Alabama coach and the football program front office to get their side on the matter.
Meanwhile, Monica Watts, AVP for communications at Alabama, has refrained from commenting on the lawsuit. “We are in the midst of reviewing this matter, which just came to our attention this morning,” she said.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star, who has an estimated net worth of $400 million, has been trying to build a media empire outside of his basketball goals. He has other ventures as well like the Blaze Pizza, along with a string of endorsements.