Indiana Pacers, 2013-14

Tattoo percentage: 47% (7 players with tattoos, 8 without)

The Pacers have an increase in tattoo percentage from last year.

Players with tattoos:

Rasual Butler
Early in Butler’s career, he got a tattoo reading “Against All Odds” on his left shoulder, circling the letters “SP” for his hometown of South Philadephia. During the subsequent ten years, he got the rest of his arm filled in with textures and a harp (?) but it’s nice to see the original design intact.

Paul George
George has a pretty great chess-themed sleeve on his left arm.

George Hill
Hill has the word “Blessed” tattooed across his chest

Donald Sloan
Sloan has tattoos on both shoulders.

Lance Stephenson
Stephenson had his daughters’ names tattooed on his hands last summer.

C.J. Watson
In December of 2012, Randy Harris of Tattoos by Randy traveled to Brooklyn to put a full sleeve on Watson, sharing photos of the finished work on his twitter account.

David West
For a 2008 Sports Illustrated profile, West discussed the tattoos on his wrist, one reading “LIVE FREE” and the other reading “BLACK SOUL.” He described the former as “self-explanatory,” but was much more enigmatic about the latter: “It has to do with a dark mystery I’m associated with; I won’t talk about that.”

Players without tattoos:

Lavoy Allen
Andrew Bynum
Chris Copeland
Roy Hibbert
Solomon Hill
Ian Mahinmi
Luis Scola
Evan Turner

Los Angeles Clippers, 2013-14

Tattoo percentage: 43% (6 players with tattoos, 8 without)


The Clippers saw their tattoo percentage decrease for the second year in a row, with a sharp decline from last year.

Players with tattoos:

Matt Barnes
In April of 2014, a piece in Easy Reader News documented Barnes’s role as enforcer on the court and the part his appearance plays in this reputation. The piece concludes with a quote from Barnes: “people are pigeonholed sometimes. And I understand having tattoos could make me a target sometimes. But it’s just who I am.”

Reggie Bullock
Tattooed on Bullock’s left arm is a memory of his childhood, showing the intersection of two streets in his hometown of Kinston, North Carolina and a ribbon bearing his grandmother’s name.

Jamal Crawford
As reported by Dan Woike in the O.C Register, Crawford has a quote from Notorious B.I.G.’s “Sky’s the Limit” tattooed on his right arm: “Stay far from timid. Only make moves when your heart’s in it. And live the phrase ‘Sky’s the Limit.’”

Glen Davis
Davis’s right arm is covered in tattoos, but in 2012 he suggested that he’d have them removed after his retirement. Inspired partially by Mike Bibby, who’d begun having his tattoos removed, Davis reflected on the transition demanded by retirement: “Now he has to go in the world and know to work. And how do you do that? You blend in with the guys who have done it - who come in with a suit and tie with no tattoos.”

DeAndre Jordan
Jordan covers a lot of ground in his tattoos, from tributes to family members, to hometown pride, to spirituality, to a noble lion. A DIME Magazine profile goes through all of his tattoos with commentary. A standout is his left forearm, which shows a half-skull/half-earth sphere surrounded by text. Jordan described the design and elaborated on its meaning: “It says, ‘Don’t gain the world and lose your soul.’ It’s a Bob Marley quote. It’s a circle, but it’s half a skull and half the Earth. I just didn’t want to get caught up in materialistic things and forget who I am and where I come from.”

J.J. Redick
Referring to Redick as a “walking bible,” a 2014 Duke Report article lists four different Bible tattoos on his body, including Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 40:1-3, and Philippians 4:13.

Players without tattoos:

Darren Collison
Jared Dudley
Danny Granger
Willie Green
Blake Griffin
Ryan Hollins
Chris Paul
Hedo Turkoglu

Boston Celtics, 2013-14

Tattoo percentage: 53% (8 players with tattoos, 7 without)

The Celtics saw their tattoo percentage decrease from last year.

Players with tattoos:

Chris Babb
Babb has tattoos on both arms.

Brandon Bass
In 2012, Tattoos by Randy posted on Instagram a photo of new work completed for Brandon Bass. The tattoos, his kids’ names in script, run up and down the sides of his ribcage.

Jerryd Bayless
Among Bayless’s several tattoos is the word "Faith" tattooed on the inside of his right arm.

Keith Bogans
Bogans has a tattoo of a bull: “I have one tattoo of a taurus on my arm. It’s a bull, it fits my personality. The other one is a panther with a basketball … I got that when I was a little bit younger.”

Vitor Faverani
Faverani has the words “Warrior of God” tattooed on his left forearm.

Chris Johnson
Johnson has tattoos on both arms.

Rajon Rondo
Rondo has the double-R Rolls Royce logo tattooed on his back, which also references his initials.

Gerald Wallace
On Wallace’s right shoulder is a great tattoo of a tiger.

Players without tattoos:

Joel Anthony
Avery Bradley
Jeff Green
Kris Humphries
Kelly Olynyk
Phil Pressey
Jared Sullinger

Chicago Bulls, 2013-14

Tattoo percentage: 46% (6 players with tattoos, 7 without)

The Bulls saw their tattoo percentage decrease from last year.

Players with tattoos:

DJ Augustin
On Augustin’s back is a touching tribute to his deceased grandmother in which pair of hands hold a basketball beside the text “thanks for the rock” to memorialize his first ball, which was purchased by his grandmother for his fifth birthday. The design is pretty awe-inspiring.

Carlos Boozer
"Body of Work: Carlos Boozer" is a great primer to the player’s many tattoos.

Kirk Hinrich
Hinrich has a chain tattooed on his left wrist in honor of his late grandfather.

Nazr Mohammed
Mohammed has his name tattooed on his left shoulder above a basketball passing through a hoop.

Derrick Rose
The Windy Apple has a great rundown of all of Rose’s tattoos.

Tony Snell
Snell has a basketball and the number 21 tattooed on his right shoulder. 21 was his jersey number in college.

Players without tattoos:

Jimmy Butler
Mike Dunleavy
Jimmer Fredette
Taj Gibson
Erik Murphy
Joakim Noah
Tornike Shengelia

Body of Work: Carlos Boozer

"Body of Work" is a 2010 video in which Carlos Boozer talks through his tattoos and the inspirations behind the designs. His many spiritual tattoos give him the opportunity to discuss his religious beliefs, and the tattoos of his sons as angels and the names of his children on his wrists provoke some nice thoughts about family. The image above, of a guardian angel on his back, is the last design discussed in the video. The complete video can be viewed HERE.

Houston Rockets, 2013-14

Tattoo percentage: 53% (8 players with tattoos, 7 without)


Houston’s tattoo percentage decreased slightly from last year.

Players with tattoos:

Patrick Beverley
Beverley has tattoos along both arms.

Isaiah Canaan
Canaan has tattoos on both arms.

Robert Covington
Covington has tattoos on both arms.

Troy Daniels
Daniels has tattoos running along both arms and his chest.

Jordan Hamilton
Hamilton has a tattoo on his right wrist.

Terrence Jones
Among Jones’s tattoos is a design honoring his grandmother. In a 2012 interview, Jones described the impact his grandmother has had on him: “She has always been the discipline part of my life. If I ever was in trouble, she always wanted me to learn from my mistakes after I did them. She was hard on me and loving at the same time.”

Donatas Motiejunas
Motiejunas’s most well known tattoo is the eagle on his chest, however a photo of him receiving another tattoo on his stomach was revealed on twitter in 2013.

Greg Smith
Smith has the words "Family First" tattooed on his chest.

Players without tattoos:

Omer Asik
Omri Casspi
Francisco Garcia
James Harden
Dwight Howard
Jeremy Lin
Chandler Parsons

Alexis Ajinca’s tattoo

After two years spent playing in France, Ajinca is back in the NBA, playing for the Pelicans. The screengrab above is from his debut with New Orleans, and shows the tattoo below his right ear. As described to a Yahoo reporter in 2010, the tattoo is of a Japanese symbol that he says means “great talent sent from God.”

As always, when team rosters change through trades, additions, or waivers, they’ll be updated on the individual team pages. With the addition of Ajinca and the dismissal of Josh Childress, New Orleans had their percentage of tattooed players jump to 40%, the highest its been since this blog began.

Minnesota Timberwolves, 2013-14

Tattoo percentage: 40% (6 players with tattoos, 9 without)

The Timberwolves saw their tattoo percentage decrease from last season.

Players with tattoos:

Corey Brewer
Brewer has the words “Against All Odds” tattooed on his ribs.

Dante Cunningham
As of his senior year of college (2009), Cunningham has nine tattoos, including one that reads “TROUBLE” on his left arm.

Shabazz Muhammad
Muhammed has tattoos that run across his chest, including his initials “S” and “M” on his shoulders.

Nikola Pekovic
As reported by a Star Tribune profile in October of this year, Pekovic’s most recent tattoo is a combat scene on his left leg. Pekovic described the design to the author: “this is the Battle of Kosovo, the most famous battle for Serbia and Montenegro, it took place in 1389.”

Ricky Rubio
Rubio has the number “79” tattooed on the back of his neck.

Ronny Turiaf
In March of 2011, Turiaf began work on a new tattoo on his left arm: a phoenix rising from ashes.

Players without tattoos:

JJ Barea
Chase Budinger
Gorgui Dieng
Robbie Hummel
Kevin Love
Kevin Martin
Luc Mbah a Moute
A.J. Price
Alexey Shved

Los Angeles Lakers, 2013-14

Tattoo percentage: 47% (7 players with tattoos, 8 without)


The Lakers decreased their tattoo percentage from last year.

Players with tattoos:

Kent Bazemore
Bazemore has tattoos on both arms.

MarShon Brooks
Brooks has several tattoos, including the name of his younger sister on his right wrist.

Kobe Bryant
At the end of the 2012-13 season, Bryant added a new tattoo with the names of his daughters.

Jordan Farmar
Insted were a late 80s posicore band from Anaheim who formed the same year that Farmar was born just 20 miles away in Los Angeles. Farmar has a tattoo that looks suspiciously like the cover of Insted’s first LP, Bonds of Friendship, but according to an interview, has a totally different origin: “I got it after my freshman year of college. It’s a picture drawn by my first basketball coach, he’s an artist for the Simpsons.”

Jordan Hill
While at college, the heavily tattooed Hill described his tattoos for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, including the tribute for his mother: “My mom passed when I was 3, so I got “in love and memory”, the year she was born and when she died, a basketball and a banner with her name in it, Carol. And on the bottom I got ‘Doing it for you.’

Robert Sacre
Among Sacre’s many tattoos are portraits of DMX and Snoop Dogg on his torso.

Nick Young
At the close of the 2012-13 season, Young added a portrait of his son to his left shoulder.

Players without tattoos:

Pau Gasol
Xavier Henry
Wes Johnson
Chris Kaman
Ryan Kelly
Kendall Marshall
Jodie Meeks
Steve Nash

Sacramento Kings, 2013-14

Tattoo percentage: 64% (9 players with tattoos, 5 without)


The Kings saw their tattoo percentage increase from last year.

Players with tattoos:

Quincy Acy
Both of Acy’s arms are thick with tattoos.

DeMarcus Cousins
In November of 2013, Cousins appeared on an episode of Black Ink and got a portrait of his mother added to his right arm.

Reggie Evans
As reported by the New York Times, Evans has the state of Florida tattooed on his right arm.

Rudy Gay
In February of 2011, Gay separated his shoulder in a season-ending injury that required seven months of rehab. The down time sent Gay into new territory, as reported by the website Go Grizzlies on the one-year anniversary of his injury: “I tried not to get depressed but it happened,” Gay said. “I was doing stuff I normally wouldn’t do and I’ve got tattoos to show for it.”

Orlando Johnson
On Johnson’s left arm is a tattoo in memory of his mother and other family members he’s lost.

Ben McLemore
McLemore described his favorite tattoos in a March 2013 Lawrence Journal-World article: “I’ve got a couple favorites. I’ve got my mom’s name (Sonya) right here (on arm) and pretty much all my siblings. I’ve pretty much got all my family: I’ve got both of my brothers, I’ve got all three of my sisters, all my nieces and nephews and my mom’s name. … I’ve also got a ‘Best of Both’ tattoo (on arm). It’s got half a world and half a basketball, so basically, I’m best at both. Coming from nothing, coming to the top … it’s just a blessing.”

Jason Terry
Terry has a tattoo of Underdog, which he explained in a 2008 Dime Magazine interview: “I never was seen as one of the best players on the court ’til senior year of high school. Even at Arizona, I was not a starter ’til senior year.”

Isaiah Thomas
Thomas is another NBA player from the northwest, raised in Tacoma, Washington. In the summer of 2012, he and Jamal Crawford (raised in Seattle), both got tattooed by Randy Harris of Tattoos by Randy. Thomas added a full sleeve representing Tacoma to his already developed collection of tattoos.

Derrick Williams
For the last couple seasons, Williams’s tattoos have all been hidden beneath his uniform. However, during this past offseason he added a full sleeve to his right arm.

Players without tattoos:

Aaron Gray
Carl Landry
Ray McCallum
Travis Outlaw
Jason Thompson

NBA tattoos

2013-14 NBA overall tattoo percentage: 55%
241 players with tattoos, 201 without [details]

2013-13 NBA overall tattoo percentage: 56% [details]
2011-12 NBA overall tattoo percentage: 55% [details]
2010-11 NBA overall tattoo percentage: 53% [details]

A player-by-player, team-by-team guide to tattoos in the NBA. It is not an attempt to document every tattoo of every player–rather it is an attempt to provide a series of tools for sorting overall tattoo statistics in the NBA alongside glimpses into tattoo trends. Click on any team name below for player details of that team:

Hawks - Celtics - Nets - Bobcats - Bulls - Cavaliers
Mavericks - Nuggets - Pistons - Warriors - Rockets - Pacers
Clippers - Lakers - Grizzlies - Heat - Bucks - Timberwolves
Pelicans - Knicks - Thunder - Magic - Sixers - Suns
Trail Blazers - Kings - Spurs - Raptors - Jazz - Wizards

Click HERE for a complete list of NBA players discussed on this blog.

Disclaimer: This info is collected completely anecdotally, mostly by watching games, but also through study of photos, interviews, and player profiles. It’s very likely that tattoos have gone unobserved or remain hidden, especially on non-superstar players. Every effort has been made to present the best possible information, but statistics should not be considered definitive. Please use Ask Me to share any relevant information.