Tattoo percentage: 40% (6 players with tattoos, 9 without)
The Rockets raised their tattoo percentage just a touch from last year.
Canby has the Chinese characters for “strive” and “family” tattooed on his right shoulder. In an interview, Canby claimed to be one of the originators of Chinese character tattoos. When asked how he got on the path, he explained, “I was into a lot of Chinese flicks, a lot of kung fu movies.”
Lee credits his entire professional career to the guidance and mentoring of Danny Rumph, a promising point guard who died of a heart condition at the age of 21. The two met at Western Kentucky University, where Rumph’s positive influence kept Lee in school and focused on basketball. Following Rumph’s death, Lee designed a tribute to his friend, tattooed on his right arm. As described by Fran Blinebury for NBA.com:
“The tattoo on his right biceps is a drawing of his friend wearing his Philadelphia Phillies baseball cap on his head, with wings sprouting from his shoulders and holding a basketball with the No. 11 inside. A couple of other Western Kentucky teammates, Anthony Winchester and Elgrace Wilborn, have the same tattoo that Lee had sketched out.”
Morris was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 14th pick in the 2011 NBA draft. His twin brother, Markieff Morris, was taken by Phoenix with the 13th pick. This is the first year these identical twins have played apart, after years together in youth leagues, high school, and three years with the Kansas Jayhawks. They even had the same major (American Studies) at college. The pair also share identical tattoo designs, including one that reads “FOE” which stands for Family Over Everything; one that reads “Death is a Promise”; and one that reads “Twin Towers.”
A U-T San Diego article written during Thomas’s years at San Diego State University discusses the player’s relationship with his daughter. One paragraph describes the tattoo he received several days before her birth: “Thomas had a tattoo added to his right arm, next to the one for his mother. It is a rose with “Mikeala” written beneath it.”
Players without tattoos:
Kevin Martin: Martin is uninterested in tattoos, for several reasons: “I’m never going to get a tattoo. I don’t like needles, so I’m not going to let a needle on me. But I also want to be a clean-cut guy. That’s just how I am.”
Luis Scola: Once said tattoos are not cute (“no quedan lindos”)
No longer on roster:
Jeff Adrien: no 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.