Tattoo percentage: 60% (9 players with tattoos, 6 without)
The Rockets saw their tattoo percentage increase significantly from last year.
Players with tattoos:
There’s something about the stylized, bold lines of Delfino’s dragon tattoo that makes me think it’s a logo or from a flag or something, but I’ve never found any corollary. Someone did get a copy of it in 2009….
Motiejunas’s most well known tattoo is the eagle on his chest, however a photo of him receiving another tattoo on his stomach was revealed earlier this year on twitter.
Ohlbrecht has a tattoo of a tiger on his left arm. In an interview with the German sports website SPOX, Ohlbrecht explained that father has had the same tattoo for 40 years and this was the player’s way of bringing his father to all of the games.
Among his tattoos are the Washington Nationals logo (Robinson was born and raised in D.C.); the phrase “Success is Nothing Without Failure”; and the “F.O.E.” (Family Over Everything) tattoothat his Kansas teammates Josh Selby and Marcus and Markieff Morris also wear.
Players without tattoos:
Tattoo percentage: 36% (5 players with tattoos, 9 without)
One of the teams with the fewest tattooed players, there isn’t much of a story to tell through the Suns designs. Except for Pietrus’ perplexing tattoo, which demands the question, “is it barbed wire?” and the requisite follow up, “why?” or “why not?” That feels right.
Also of note, Dan Majerle, who spent 8 of his 14 seasons playing for the Suns and is now an assistant coach for the team, has a lightning bolt tattooed on his ankle.
Players with tattoos:
Brooks is a part of a small group of NBA players who came up together in Seattle—Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, Terrence Williams—who are all heavily tattooed. While Jason Terry claims he was the first to rep their shared hometown in tattoo, Brooks has the most involved: on his left arm, the city’s area code, 206, overlays an outline of the space needle.
Frye has tattoos on both arms.
During his second season in the NBA, Gortat made it to the finals as a backup center for the Magic. On the magnified stage of the championship round, it came to the attention of his sponsor, Reebok, that Gortat had Nike’s Michael Jordan Jumpman logo tattooed on his ankle. They requested that he wear long socks to cover the rival logo, or efface it with makeup. Gortat refused: “I’ve heard from other people that even other players, if they don’t know my name, they know I’m the big white guy with the Jordan tattoo. I like that. Reebok will have to get used to that.” Gortat is no longer sponsored by Reebok.
This one is debatable. A 2009 article quotes Nash as saying he’d “never had the urge to get one,” but elaborated that if he did get one, it would be “a tribal pattern on his arm, from shoulder to elbow.” However, various recent message boards claim that Canadian Nash has a maple leaf tattooed over his heart, which honestly feels really likely to me.
I’ve seen the armband on Pietrus’ right arm described as looking like barbed wire, but I don’t see it.
Players without tattoos:
Grant Hill: Hill wouldn’t want any tattoos because he is a long-term thinker: “Ten, 15 years from now, I don’t want to look back and go, ‘What was I thinking?’”
Robin Lopez: In a 2009 Phoenix New Times article, Lopez explained that he doesn’t have any tattoos, but respects them: “I don’t have anything against it. It’s a unique way for people to express themselves. Being an artist myself, I can appreciate that.”
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.