Tattoo percentage: 67% (10 players with tattoos, 5 without)
Denver’s massive trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York changed them from the team with the most tattoos in the league to the seventh place team. Since last year, J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and Wilson Chandler have all left the team, further reducing their percentages. Curious to see if this changes their reputation at all….
Players with tattoos:
The Birdman’s tattoos are fairly well documented and have brought him a lot of attention, even from non-NBA fans. In advance of a 2010 profile in Dime, the magazine created a video with images of Andersen’s tattoos and some very perplexing quotes.
Chandler (pointing to a design on his neck): It’s an ace of spades, on fire
Interviewer: okay, why’s that?
Chandler: Just, you know, it’s the highest card out of the deck
Well hidden by his jersey, Gallinari has a massive Armani logo tattooed on his ribs, borne of a connection deeper than his Italian nationality: “Armani Jeans is one of my sponsors—this tattoo is the Armani Jeans Milano team’s logo. When I go in a store, I take all the clothes I want. Mr. Armani and I are close. He came to town for Christmas, and we went to dinner with my parents.”
On Harrington’s back is a tattoo of himself begin lifted by an angel. In the design, Harrington is shirtless, displaying the tattoos on his chest and stomach. I like thinking that when he gets new tattoos on his front he has to have them added to the one on his back.
Last summer McGee participated in PEAK’s lockout diaries video series (Dorell Wright and Shane Battier also contributed videos). For one video, McGee talks through his tattoos—tributes to his mother, grandmother, place of birth, and basketball—all of which are located on his chest, stomach, and back. He explains that there are more to come, but “none on my arms or anything. I feel like that’s unprofessional, I feel like you should have tats that you can hide. That’s why I don’t have any on my arms or on my neck or anything.” The “AMEN” speech bubble coming off of his “TRULY BLESSED” tattoo is pretty special.
In April of 2011, during Miller’s final season with the Blazers, the Oregonian printed a long profile which described Miller’s rarely-seen back tattoo:
Today, Miller carries a large tattoo on his back, with the outline of California and old English-style lettering that reads “E. Watts.” He is private revealing the roots of the tattoo, saying only that he lost a bet growing up.
The NBA website featured a short profile of this undrafted rookie the day before the 2011-12 season began which documented Stone’s commitment to his family:
Though he will be away from his family on Christmas, they are never far from his thoughts. He has tattoos on his arms reading “Stone” and “Cooley,” (his mother’s maiden name) and he talks to his five nieces and nephews nearly every day.
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.