A cut above the rim: Terrell Brandon's barber shop celebrates 2 - KPTV - FOX 12

A cut above the rim: Terrell Brandon's barber shop celebrates 25 years

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A two-time state champ at Grant High School, a University of Oregon basketball hall of famer, and a two-time NBA All-Star – Portland's Terrell Brandon retired from the league in 2002, but he always kept a home court. 

TB is celebrating the 25th year of his barber shop in Rip City.

“Actually, it was a childhood dream of mine,” he said. 

The early 90s were a cut above the rest for Portland native Terrell Brandon. 

“I said, ‘One of these days I am going to get me a barber shop,’” he said. 

The 1991 Pac-10 Player of the Year for the Ducks saw the birth of his first son, was drafted 11th overall by the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and bought an old gas station on Northeast Alberta Street. 

“Growing up, I used to pass by here all the time,” Brandon said. “I wanted to figure out what I could do to not only generate income but make a positive impact in the community and getting a haircut is one thing that never goes out of style.” 

The styles may change but the daily scene in the barber shop remains untouched.

“People come in not just to get a haircut but to socialize, talk sports of course, talk about the Blazers, talk about politics,” he said. 

Hoops are at the heart of the shop. Brandon was just 7 years old, the current age of the youngest of two sons, when his beloved Trail Blazers were world champs in the summer of '77 and little TB was on the parade route. 

“I remember Bill Walton being upset because someone took his bike when he got on the mic. We were all cracking up laughing, we thought it was funny,” Brandon said. 

His game was serious in the NBA, peaking in the mid-90s with back-to-back All-Star game nods in '96 and '97. 

“Just to be accepted by the greatest players in the world? For them to tell me that I deserved to be there? Man, it was all Portland. I was hyped,” he said. 

Brandon even landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the tagline, “The NBA’s best point guard.” 

“I was a marked man, so I never wanted to believe it,” he said. 

While Brandon never suited up for the Blazers, he sure thought about it. But not while Damon Stoudamire wore the scarlet and black.

“Damon's my boy. That's my baby. Once Damon came here, that dream just kind of went out the door,” Brandon said.  

While with the Cavs, Terrell held a kids camp that hosted a certain middle schooler from Akron, Ohio: LeBron James.

“I believe it was the 8th grade … no doubt about it. He was already taller than me and bigger than me already and I was in the NBA,” said Brandon. 

After an 11-year NBA career with stops in Cleveland, Milwaukee and Minnesota, the barber shop has been Brandon’s everyday home court since retiring in 2002.

“The games you miss but particularly the playoffs,” he said. “That's when your hands get a little spongy, every year around that April time … so every once in a while when I watch the playoffs I have got to rub my hands a little bit to get that flashback.” 

While you won’t catch him cutting hair, the boss is known to sweep up and take out the trash.

“We are family-oriented but we are all about making sure people can pay their rent,” he said. “That's what it's all about, man.”  

It's family first in the barber shop, employing some of his cousins while running the fastbreak on Tee Bee Enterprises. 

“I have a dog grooming business on Ainsworth and Mississippi. It's called Show Dogs Grooming. I have a limousine service here at the shop and a cigar bar here. The shop, the barber shop, so I am keeping myself busy. Payroll is still the same,” he said. 

Next month, Brandon expects to launch a podcast called “Welcome to the compound,” so be on the lookout for that. He always would like to get back into the NBA in an executive role.

The first barber he hired in the early 90s was the same kid who use to cut his hair while they attended Harriet Tubman Middle School. 

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