The mini-feud between LeBron James and Nick Saban isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, it’s just heating up.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star and the Alabama football coach are going toe to toe over a show called “Shop Talk,” in which Saban and players shoot the breeze in a barbershop setting. It’s a get-to-know-the-Tide (as much as Saban will allow) thing that seems harmless. Except for the fact that it very closely mirrors “The Shop,” a production of James’s Uninterrupted media platform. James’s legal team sent a letter to Alabama, expressing, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, “concerns over copyright infringement and intellectual property appropriation,” hoping to work things out before “rushing into legal proceedings.”
That did not bother Saban one itty-bitty bit and, on Tuesday, he said the show wasn’t going away.
“I think LeBron James is a great player,” Saban told reporters. “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.”
After the Cavs’ win Tuesday night, James shot back.
“That’s exactly what I would think he would say,” James told reporters. “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 okay.
“The lawyers will figure it out.”
Yes, they will.
“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,’ ” the letter reads, according to McMenamin.
Take a look at the two shows and decide for yourself.
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