Tattoo percentage: 54% (7 players with tattoos, 6 without)
Even with the loss of Rasual Butler and Keith Bogans, the tattoo percentage for the Bulls stayed about the same as last year’s squad. A lot of variation here—there’s definitely some extrapolation to be had between Boozer’s self-obsessed tattoos, Rose’s declarations of love and inspiration, and Noah’s assertion that it’s more original to not have tattoos at this point. But not by me.
Players with tattoos:
Boozer recently launched a website which includes a photo gallery of his tattoos. It’s not exhaustive, but does include a nice photo of his “look back and thank god, look forward and trust god” chest tattoo. But the “C BOOZ UNLEASH THE BEAST” tattoo is disappointingly absent.
The tattoo of a skeleton hand emerging from the grave spinning a basketball is an all-time favorite. For the NBA Mailbag, he described the tattoo: “I have R.I.P. coming out the ground on a tombstone that means basketball for life, basketball till I die. Yeah.”
In 2006, Korver told Sports Illustrated that he promised his mother he’s wait until her death before getting a tattoo. In 2009, as reported by Omaha.com, he and his brother Kaleb got tattoos of their favorite bible verses. Kaleb remarked that their mother was “good with it” and that they’re trying to convince their other two brothers to join in.
A 2011 video interview shows Rose’s new tattoo, the word “HOPE” across his left wrist. For the interview, the 2011 MVP described the emotional impetus for the design: “when things seem like it’s hard, and you think you don’t got no one else on your side, and you feel alone and all that, there’s always a chance and you’ve always got to keep hope alive. And I want to be that hope for kids, for adults or whoever. When they see me, they just want to go hard at whatever they’re doing. Just because they see the way that I am and they see the way that I play.” Also worth noting is this 27 second video of Rose’s car pulling up to a tattoo shop in Chicago and people going ABSOLUTELY BONKERS.
According to an interview for Black Sports Online, Watson got his first tattoo at the age of 16. The design includes his nickname—Quiet Storm—which also doubles as the name for his foundation. Watson reveals in the interview that the nickname was suggested by his sister while they were at the tattoo shop.
Players without tattoos:
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
Hornets - 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.