Meet Robert Poller, the Atlanta Hawks In-Arena Barber Who's a Philly Native and Huge 76ers Fan! - Wooder Ice
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Meet Robert Poller, the Atlanta Hawks In-Arena Barber Who’s a Philly Native and Huge 76ers Fan!

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Meet Robert Poller, the Atlanta Hawks In-Arena Barber Who’s a Philly Native and Huge 76ers Fan!

Meet Robert Poller, the Atlanta Hawks In-Arena Barber Who’s a Philly Native and Huge 76ers Fan!

Meet Robert Poller, the Atlanta Hawks In-Arena Barber Who’s a Philly Native and Huge 76ers Fan!

Yes, you read that right, the Atlanta Hawks have in-arena barbers that cut in a full scale barber shop located inside the stadium. Created in partnership with artist Killer Mike and the Hawks, the “Swag Shop” is where fans can get a fresh cut, trim their beard or get a clean shave all while hearing their barber rave about the Sixers.  Robert Poller who was born and raised in North Philly (26th & Diamond) is now an Atlanta transplant and has been flourishing in the barber scene.

After leaving the Air Force in 99′ Poller headed south to the A and his talents were quickly noticed. “It’s an interesting journey that got me to working in the Hawks arena. In 2004 I was working in College Park on the south side of Atlanta at a shop called Celebrities Only Phase II. I was introduced to Big Boi from OutKast’s younger brother Marcus and his cousin Ricky by our mutual friend Borna who worked in the record store a few doors down from the shop. I had been cutting their hair for a few weeks when Marcus said his older brother Twan wanted me to come to his house and cut his hair. When I got to his home I thought to myself “Ok this cat obviously has some money!” It wasn’t til I got in the house and seen the Grammy’s & read them I realized who I was about to cut. I guess I did a pretty good job cause he began to refer his people to me. That’s how I met Killer Mike and we got cool and been friends since. Fast forward years of hard work to Killer and the Hawks building a barber shop in the arena. He had told me when he opened it he would like me to come work there.”

So how has life been working in enemy territory especially during a heated playoff matchup? “I’m Philadelphia sports til death. My people know it so whenever the Eagles or the 76ers come through I’m always ready for the trash talk! I must say it’s different here. It’s sophisticated trash talk that usually ends up in a drink and a “see y’all next game!” We know how we get down in Philadelphia though! The trash talk might go left at any moment. I just want my Sixers to knock off these next two games and go take care of Nets!”  See Full interview below!

How long have you been cutting? How did you get into it?

Since 1999 after I got out of the Air Force. I was going to apply for a resource management position at Grady Memorial Hospital, it was what my job was in the military. The hospital said I would have to start first in the morgue. Why? I have no idea but needless to say that was the end of my career in the medical field. The shop where I would get my hair cut when I would visit ATL was hiring so that was the beginning of my barbering career. I was an apprentice under Master Barber Ireal Guy.

What made you move to ATL?

I came to ATL the year before I got out of the military for the wedding of one of the guys I was stationed with. He was from here. I was so impressed how well Black people were living here and how many positions of power they held that I decided that I was going to step out on faith & when I got out Atlanta would be my new home.

How did you get hooked up with the Hawks?

It’s an interesting journey that got me to working in the Hawks arena. In 2004 I was working in College Park on the south side of Atlanta at a shop called Celebrities Only Phase II. I was introduced to Big Boi from OutKast’s younger brother Marcus and his cousin Ricky by our mutual friend Borna who worked in the record store a few doors down from the shop. I had been cutting their hair for a few weeks when Marcus said his older brother Twan wanted me to come to his house and cut his hair. When I got to his home I thought to myself “Ok this cat obviously has some money!” It wasn’t til I got in the house and seen the Grammy’s & read them I realized who I was about to cut. I guess I did a pretty good job cause he began to refer his people to me. That’s how I met Killer Mike and we got cool and been friends since. Fast forward years of hard work to Killer and the Hawks building a barber shop in the arena. He had told me when he opened it he would like me to come work there.

Where do you normally cut?

I still split time working at Infamous Kutz barber shop owned by my guy Frank (Nitti) Johnson and Killer Mike’s other shop The Swag Shop on Edgewood ave. I’m only at the arena when there are games.

Do you have celebrity clients?

Big & Killer are my celebrity clients I cut weekly but I’ve been blessed to cut actor Reno Wilson and a few other people but were talking maybe once or twice not enough times to say I’m their barber. Gods been blessing so it could be anyone tomorrow.

How is it working in an arena vs your shop? (how many barbers are working at any given time)?

I love all three shops I’m in because each one is different and the crew and customers are all different because of the areas. The arena though is its own beast because I’m dealing with many different races from different place who want different styles and it lets me showcase my talent on a grander scale. We have a staff of 4 barbers and the arena.

Do your customers give you a hard time rooting for the Sixers?

Of course! That’s what they’re supposed to do! I love it cause I’m Philadelphia sports til death. My people know it so whenever the Eagles or the 76ers come through I’m always ready for the trash talk! I must say it’s different here. It’s sophisticated trash talk that usually ends up in a drink and a “see y’all next game!” We know how we get down in Philadelphia though! The trash talk might go left at any moment. I just want my Sixers to knock off these next two games and go take care of Nets!

Do you see the Sixers going all the way ? your predictions

You’re not a fan if you DON’T see your teamuuuyygoing all the way! We have the pieces! We have the coaching but most of all we have the heart!!! Predicting Sixers & Suns in the finals! Sixers in 7! The Eagles bought one home a few years ago now it’s the Sixers time for some hardware!!!

How is it cheering for the home team at ATL’s arena? Do you find other Sixers fans you cheer with?

It’s all fun! I can hear the other fans in the building & that’s enough for me cause I’d do it dolo if there wasn’t anyone else! IDGAF Me Against the World !!!

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