Orlando barber from Puerto Rico recounts his time in NBA bubble

Joel Padilla is an award-winning barber who has been working on his craft for decades

Joel Padilla worked 12 hour days in the NBA bubble. (Joel Padilla, Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – He’s always been on the cutting edge of hair culture, but when Joel Padilla learned he would be taking part in a historic and unprecedented NBA season, his passion and motivation was taken to another level.

Padilla has been cutting hair for 22 years now.

He says his Puerto Rican heritage played a huge role in him getting to where he’s at.

“What made me start being a barber was growing up around the industry and my grandfather motivating me to follow his steps,” said Padilla.

When he got the opportunity to use his skills on some of the most famous athletes on earth, he did not hesitate.

“It wasn’t easy, it took a lot of sacrifice being away from my family,” Padilla said.

Like the players, he had a daily routine which started very early in the morning.

Padilla says he woke up at 6:30 am every day, got tested for COVID-19 daily, and wore a face mask all day.

His days in the bubble are a time he says he will never forget, working 12 hour days and giving haircuts to players like Kristaps Porzingis and and Luka Doncic.

Padilla says his time in the bubble also allowed him time to focus and grow his business.

He started a new group called Master Barbers Inc. which is him and a team of six other barbers.

“My future plan is to keep growing in the industry and make a bigger name for myself and the shop and continue doing what I love most,” said Padilla.

Follow Padilla on Instagram @Joelmasterbarber to see more of his work.


About the Author:

Robert Brown is the assignment manager at News 6. He joined the team in July 2018 as a producer and was promoted in 2020. Before moving to The City Beautiful, he spent six years in Jacksonville at WJXT-TV. Robert graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism.