Every time some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s finest professional athletes play in front of millions of viewers, the work of Lionel ‘Brownie Blendz’ Harris can also be seen.
“All of them guys is like family,” said Harris. “I know their kids, they know my kids.”
His regular clientele consists of several Oakland Raiders and plenty of Warriors — including Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Kevin Durant and close family friend Draymond Green.
“I actually have a chair in their practice facility right now. I’ve been there for five years and experienced every championship,” said Harris, who has rode with the Warriors’ in their championship parade.
In fact, ever since Harris joined the Warriors, the team has made it to the NBA Finals in all five years.
“I don’t want to discredit their work, but i think that’s absolutely correct,” laughed Harris. “I think I’m there for a reason; I think I’m their good luck charm.”
Harris’ journey started the way most barbers do: trying to gain as many clients as possible. He reached out to new Oakland Raiders linebacker LaMarr Woodley to offer him a free haircut.
After Woodley accepted, it all snowballed from there. The linebacker offered to take him to practice and cut hair for many of the young Oakland Raiders prospects.
“It was a grind,” said Harris. “I was doing 30 cuts a night with those young guys who were trying to make a football team — but some of those relationships took, so it went on to build a nice clientele base.”
Harris has had plenty of famous customers outside the Bay Area, including LeBron James, rapper DMX and late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel.
All of that really adds to the pressure to deliver a perfect product, he says.
“They’re on an HD screen,” said Harris. “They’re highly critiqued, so the pressure is there. You want to make sure that there’s never a time where they go out [in public] and you think, ‘ah, maybe I could’ve done that [haircut] better.”
Harris’ main shop is called KJ’s Barber Shop in Tracy, California, but now, because of his prominent clientele, he goes to privately cut his customers’ hair — sometimes being flown to different parts of the world.
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