When the NBA made the decision to resume their season and head down to ESPN’s complex at Disney, working through the logistics was the major problem. From simply accommodating hundreds of NBA players to feeding them and scheduling games, the planning was NASA level.
With so many things to think through, one aspect that may have been overlooked for the three-month stay was barbers. Luckily, William Rondo, brother of Rajon Rondo, had a business equipped to handle the problem at hand.
The NBA constructed a barbershop from the ground up and recruited barbers from all over the United States. The funny part of recruiting barbers is that they treated it like a draft and those chosen even uploaded their speeches to Instagram. Some would call it dramatic, but if you’re a barber, this is about as big leagues as it gets.
As most men know, the barbershop goes way beyond hair cuts and act as space for the players to relax and have some time to unwind. To make the experience even more personalized, every NBA player’s normal barber was contacted to make sure no one gets a messed up fade in the bubble.
The barbers who have been selected to participate are coming for all across the country. Barbers, Daniel Thomas and Willie brooks are traveling from Los Angeles. Sedric Salinas is representing the Bay Area and Marcos Smith, Joel Padilla and Mo Rodriguez will be holding it down for New York and Florida.
If you wonder how the barbershop operates in the time of Corona, the NBA already has steps in place to ensure everyone’s safety. According to ESPN, everyone was required to quarantine in the bubble for seven days upon opening their individual barbershops. Each location is outfitted with professional barber chairs equipped with facial steaming stations. Grooming equipment was also provided. The crew works in intervals of three to four hour shifts so that the shop can shut down in between for routine disinfection and cleaning. The barbers are also provided with disposable capes, gloves and masks.
ESPN reported that the barbers could be making quite a bit for their work too. They will be paid a flat rate by the NBA and they are allowed to receive tips as well. Without giving too much detail about the contract, one of the barbers Mo Rodriguez pointed out that he has the potential to make 5 times more than he would normally. According to him, the average haircut costs anywhere from $20-$50. With the NBA, he will receive a major pay increase. The barbers are expected to perform as many as 25-30 cuts a day, so factor that in, in addition to working over the next few months and these guys might have the ability to make up for the year of lost salary due to the pandemic.
Check out the whole story behind the bubble barbershop below: