Saban: The show will go on despite LeBron James complaint

Alabama football coach Nick Saban talks with the media in his first spring football news conference, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at Naylor-Stone Media Suite in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt/Alabama Media Group via AP)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t scrapping a program that drew a complaint from LeBron James.

And James isn’t backing down, either.

On Monday, a representative for James sent a letter on his behalf to Alabama, claiming the Crimson Tide’s ”Shop Talk” trailer uses ”ideas, concepts and format” from a program on the digital media platform the Cavaliers’ superstar co-founded.

Last year, James’ ”Uninterrupted” aired ”The Shop,” where the three-time NBA champion, Golden State forward Draymond Green and others talk in a barber shop.

Saban said he didn’t know about James’ show, and contends the concept isn’t new.

”I think LeBron James is a great player,” Saban said. ”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.”

Alabama released a trailer on Twitter for ”Shop Talk” showing Saban and NFL receiver Julio Jones in a barber shop setting. ”Uninterrupted” sent a letter to Alabama, citing concerns over copyright infringement and intellectual property.

Following Tuesday’s win over Toronto in Cleveland, James was told about Saban’s stance.

”That’s exactly what I would think he would say,” James said. ”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 OK.

”The lawyers will figure it out.”

AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

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