Tattoo percentage: 50% (7 players with tattoos, 7 without)
Players with tattoos:
Frank of Hawks Nest Tattoo, Maryland, posted a photo on his myspace page of a tattoo session with Blatche. The caption reads “my first tattoo, tattooing andray blatche of the washington wizards” which, if taken at face value, is hilarious. I think he just means it’s the first tattoo he’s done for Blatche or maybe for an NBA player or something, but instead it seems like it’s the first tattoo he’s ever given. Which falls into the identity the Wizards have unfortunately developed this year. Guys like Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire go to professional tattoo artists with long resumes of working with famous people and especially basketball players. But Blatche? No big deal, he gives a rookie artist his first shot.
Last year the Washington Post reported on Booker’s new forearm tattoo, one of those designs that creates the illusion that his skin has been peeled away, revealing machinery beneath.
Below a design of two hands holding the earth, Evans has tattooed some inspirational words which he described in a video interview: “It says ‘proba te dignum’ which is Latin for prove yourself worthy.”
Before the start of his first pro season, Lewis got a tattoo on his right arm of a man clutching a basketball with his mother’s name—Juanita—marked on the ball itself. A 1998 profile has the 19 year old Lewis describing the significance of the design: “‘This is all I have right now,’ Lewis says, pointing to his arm, ‘my mother and basketball.’”
Roger Mason Jr.
In 2007, Mason covered his left arm in a meticulous, richly-symbolic tribute to his father. “There’s references from five different centuries and three or four different genres of art,” his tattoo artist, Grant Cobb explained to the Washington Post. “It was something that kind of needed some work, but it means a lot to him, it was real personal….It was really cool to be able to do something like that for him.” Or, in the words of Mason’s then-teammate, DeShawn Stevenson, “that’s blazin’.” Mason himself feels indifferent to the praise: “”Everybody loves it who sees it, but the meaning is what’s important. That’s why I got it.” Bonus twitter post: “Tattoo’s just wouldn’t be the same if they didn’t hurt like heck!”
No longer on roster:
Hamady N’Diaye - has tattoos on his chest
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.