Meet the California barber believed to be the secret to the Warriors’ success
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.”
WATCH: Raptors fans chant ‘O Canada’ after Game 3 victory in Oakland
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.
Quinn Cook very pleased with his haircut! ✂️: @BrownieBlendz
— LetsGoWarriors👌💛💙 (@LetsGoWarriors) April 13, 2018
Harris has also become a common face on HBO’s The Shop, in which famous people discuss issues at a barber shop while getting their hair cut.
WATCH: Cheering Raptors fans politely clear out of intersection as cars wait for green light
Harris says his own experience is also treating the barber chair like a confessional booth, where lots of his famous athletes discuss their problems and secrets.
“The main thing we talk about is just life,” said Harris. “We talk a lot of sports, a lot of the games. They confide in me so they have my trust.”
When asked if he was willing to tell this reporter about some of those secrets shared by Warriors players, he politely declined.
“Not today,” said Harris. “Although I can tell you we’re trying to win that NBA championship.”
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.