Tattoo percentage: 57% (8 players with tattoos, 6 without)
With the mid-season trade of Christian Eyenga and Ramon Sessions for Luke Walton the Cavs tattoo numbers raised from a below average 40% last year to over half of the team this year. Number one draft pick Kyrie Irving, who seems to bring some hope to the team this year, also brings a few very emotional and compelling tattoos with him. Also notable: Cavs’ head coach Byron Scott recently revealed he and his wife have matching tattoos.
Players with tattoos:
Gibson and his wife Keyshia Cole were featured on the cover of Urban Ink Magazine in spring 2011. Cole has a tattoo on her shoulder that reads “Truly Blessed D. Gibson” and some anonymous young woman in Cleveland also has a Boobie Gibson tattoo.
Irving has several tattoos, which he’s documented via his twitter account. In the beginning of 2010 he added a photo of the tribute to his mother, and towards the end of that year shared the above photo of his “hungry & humble” tattoo.
Tattooed on Jamison’s left shoulder is a scene where an angel stands beneath a cross, a tribute to his grandmother who died when he was in high school. “Ever since she passed, she’s been my angel,” Jamison explained in a 2008 Washington Post article. “As a kid, I thought she was the only person that actually believed I could be an NBA player.”
Thompson has a tattoo on his left hand, discussed in an October 2011 Sportsnet Magazine article: “It reads ‘G2S’ and stands for Grind to Shine, the motto (and tattoo) he shared with Longhorn freshman Myck Kabongo, the highly rated point guard from Toronto, and other graduates of the elite Grassroots Canada AAU program.”
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.