About a year and a half ago, I wrote a piece for Dime called “Boobie’s Barber” on Daniel Gibson‘s hometown barber and barber shop. And yesterday during All-Star Media Day, I was able to snap a few pics of the fresh cut he got before making the trip. Check it out below, and read the original story as well.
If you don’t know what the KC and DJ stand for, it’s Keyshia Cole (his girl) and Daniel Jr. (his son).
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LeBron James isn’t the only one turning heads in Cleveland. In fact, if you’re looking for a fresh cut in “The Forest City,” you need no introduction to Major League Barber Shop.
Owner and master barber Thad Franklin, who goes by the name Milano Barber to the Stars when he’s working, is the designer and hair architect behind Daniel “Boobie” Gibson’s fresh cuts. A Cleveland native with three barbers on his staff and five chairs to boot, the 28-year-old has been cutting hair for the past 15 years. And people have taken notice.
“Milano is one of the best,” says Gibson. “I say that because he’s hungry and motivated. He got that drive it takes to be successful. It’s been many nights where it’s been late after he’s been at the shop all day, and he came through and gave me a cut – even on a game day.”
Open every day of the week except Monday, Milano uses his day off to teach other barbers and work on designs for Boobie.
“The process is simple,” says Gibson. “Milano draws it up and I pick which one and we go from there. You just gotta watch Milano sometimes, ’cause he’s so nice with the clippers he might try anything – and David Stern ain’t having that.”
From Batman to Superman to his famous Astros’ star, Milano’s cuts for Gibson have been drawing looks. In last year’s Rookie/Sophomore game during All-Star Weekend, a game in which Gibson made a record 11 triples en route to 33 points and a 136-109 sophomore victory, the Cavs approached him to do a bobblehead.
“It was the first bobblehead that actually had a design in its head,” says Milano. “I put the star in his head right before the Rookie/Sophomore game and then he won the MVP. The next night in the three-point contest, they went to him and asked him about the star and the doll. Boobie made sure he had that star in the bobblehead. He made sure of it.”
From the moment you walk into Major League, you are treated like a star. From the hospitable welcome by the receptionist, to the amenities which include a pool table and 43-inch TVs (one with an XBOX 360, and one with the game on), Milano setup his barber shop as a home away from home.
“If you want to live like a star, then look like a star,” says Milano. “If you want to go to the MGM Grand, you go to Vegas. You want to see the ’scrapers, you got to NYC. In Cleveland, they come here for the star treatment.”
How Gibson and Milano actually met is a connection through former University of Miami star Darius Rice. After an impressive D-League finals where Rice scored a playoff-record 52 points, he got invited to Las Vegas as a member of the Cavaliers’ Summer League squad.
“I put a star in Rice’s hair before he made the trip,” says Milano, “and Boobie tracked me down from that haircut.”
“The star was on point,” says Gibson. “My city and hood loved it and it’s still the fan favorite. When a kid goes to the barber shop and asks for ‘the Boobie cut,’ they talkin’ about the star.”
Aside from Gibson and Rice, other players that have made their way to Milano’s Lee Road haunt include Cavs rookie J.J. Hickson, former Cav Cedric Simmons (now with the Chicago Bulls), George Hill & Anthony Toliver of the San Antonio Spurs, Rob Sims of the Seattle Seahawks, Salim Stoudamire and local legend (and Milano’s cousin) Chester “The Jet” Mason.
When asked what sets Major League apart from the rest, it didn’t take Milano long to answer.
“We’re the best,” says Milano. “The whole thing about it is we’re kind of like the celebrity barber shop in the city, but we treat the regular working man as if they’re a celebrity too.”
Major League Barber Shop is located at 3831 Lee Road, Cleveland, OH 44128. 216.752.HAIR. Hours are Tuesday – Sunday, 9 a.m to 6 p.m., Mondays by appointment only.
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