Tattoo percentage: 33% (5 players with tattoos, 10 without)
The Hornets saw their tattoo percentage increase slightly over last year.
Players with tattoos:
In June 2012, Aminu announced via his tumblr account that he plans to add tattoos in the different countries he visits, a sort of commemoration of his travels. He goes on to explain that he’s already begun this process in a way, having gotten tattoos in Atlanta (his hometown), Los Angeles (where he played on the Clippers), and New Orleans (where he currently plays).
Amundson’s sole tattoo was described in a 2009 Phoenix New Times article about tattoos on the Suns. That Phoenix team included Shaq, STAT, and Matt Barnes, so the article is mostly given over to their work, but buried in the text is this heartbreaking description of Amundson’s tattoo: “It’s on the right side of his chest and has the words “R.I.P. 34” surrounded by flames. He got the tattoo to commemorate the life of his best friend, Billy Feeney, a teammate at Monarch High School in Louisville, Colorado, and a player for the University of New Mexico Lobos. Feeney hanged himself in August 2003. Amundson doubts he’ll get another tattoo.”
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.”
Rivers has “M.O.A.M.” tattooed on his left wrist, an acronym for “Man On A Mission”; “G.F.B.” on his right wrist, which stands for “God, Family, Basketball”; and the words “Dedicated” and “Determined” tattooed on the inside of his fingers. In this interview, he talks through each of them and mentions that he likes to keep his arms clean of tattoos.
Thomas majored in visual arts while at Duke, using his talents to create posters for each of his teammates. According to an ESPN report, he also designed the tattoo on his right bicep, an elaborate portrait of New Jersey wearing a crown.
Players without tattoos:
The 2012 NBA draft marked the third time in the last four years that the #1 pick was completely tattoo free. Although he definitely has his own spin on it, Anthony Davis seems to have a similar media savvy to Blake Griffin and John Wall, and I don’t expect to see him getting any tattoos. On the other hand, I don’t see how Kyrie Irving’s tattoos have affected his endorsements at all (everyone’s watched the Uncle Drew pepsi ads, right?). In any case, almost half of the first round picks have visible tattoos:
#3: Bradley Beal: Has tattoos on both arms, including the names of his four brothers on his right arm.
#4: Dion Walters: Walters has tattoos on both arms.
#5: Thomas Robinson: Robinson is one of the most heavily tattooed players in this year’s draft, with both arms pretty much covered. Among his tattoos are the Washington Nationals logo (Robinson was born and raised in D.C.); the phrase “Success is Nothing Without Failure”; and, unless he flaked out, the “F.O.E.” (Family Over Everything) tattoo that his Kansas teammates Josh Selby and Marcus and Markieff Morris also wear.
#6: Damian Lillard: Lillard has Psalm 37 tattooed on his left arm.
#10: Austin Rivers: Rivers has “M.O.A.M.” tattooed on his left wrist, an acronym for “Man On A Mission”; “G.F.B.” on his right wrist, which stands for “God, Family, Basketball”; and the words “Dedicated” and “Determined” tattooed on the inside of his fingers. In this interview, he talks through each of them and mentions that he likes to keep his arms clean of tattoos.
#11: Meyers Leonard: Leonard has “Rest in Peace” tattooed on his back, a tribute to his father.
#14: John Henson: Henson has the words “Truly Blessed” tattooed on his chest.
#16: Royce White: According to a recent Sports Illustrated profile, White has 13 tattoos, including text reading “Attack Everything Always” and a portrait of Frank Sinatra.
#18: Terrence Jones: Jones has a tattoo honoring his grandmother.
#22: Fab Melo: Melo has a tattoo on his left shoulder.
#25: Tony Wroten Jr.: Wroten is one of the most tattooed players in the draft, with both arms covered.
#27: Arnett Moultrie: Moultrie has tattoos on both arms.
#28: Perry Jones III: Jones has a tattoo on his left arm of his mother’s name and the text “My Blessing From God.”
#29: Marquis Teague: Teague has a tattoo on his left shoulder with a basketball and the text “God Judge Me.”
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.