Houston Rockets, 2013-14

Tattoo percentage: 53% (8 players with tattoos, 7 without)


Houston’s tattoo percentage decreased slightly from last year.

Players with tattoos:

Patrick Beverley
Beverley has tattoos along both arms.

Isaiah Canaan
Canaan has tattoos on both arms.

Robert Covington
Covington has tattoos on both arms.

Troy Daniels
Daniels has tattoos running along both arms and his chest.

Jordan Hamilton
Hamilton has a tattoo on his right wrist.

Terrence Jones
Among Jones’s tattoos is a design honoring his grandmother. In a 2012 interview, Jones described the impact his grandmother has had on him: “She has always been the discipline part of my life. If I ever was in trouble, she always wanted me to learn from my mistakes after I did them. She was hard on me and loving at the same time.”

Donatas Motiejunas
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 on twitter in 2013.

Greg Smith
Smith has the words "Family First" tattooed on his chest.

Players without tattoos:

Omer Asik
Omri Casspi
Francisco Garcia
James Harden
Dwight Howard
Jeremy Lin
Chandler Parsons

Houston Rockets, 2012-13

Tattoo percentage: 60% (9 players with tattoos, 6 without)


The Rockets saw their tattoo percentage increase significantly from last year.

Players with tattoos:

James Anderson
Anderson has a tattoo on his left arm.

Patrick Beverley
Beverley has tattoos along both arms.

Aaron Brooks
Brooks is one of a small group of heavily tattooed NBA players raised in Seattle. Tattooed on his left shoulder is the city’s area code, 206, overlaid on an outline of the space needle.

Carlos Delfino
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….

Donatas Motiejunas
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.

Tim Ohlbrecht
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.

Thomas Robinson
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.

Greg Smith
Smith has tattoos along both arms.

Royce White
According to a 2012 Sports Illustrated profile, White has 13 tattoos, including text reading “Attack Everything Always” and a portrait of Frank Sinatra.

Players without tattoos:

Omer Asik
Francisco Garcia
James Harden
Terrence Jones
Jeremy Lin
Chandler Parsons

Houston Rockets, 2011-12

Tattoo percentage: 40% (6 players with tattoos, 9 without)

The Rockets raised their tattoo percentage just a touch from last year.

Marcus Camby
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.”

Courtney Fortson
Fortson has tattoos on his right arm.

Courtney Lee
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."

Marcus Morris
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."

Patrick Patterson
During his years at UK, Patterson had a Martin Luther King Jr. quote tattooed on his chest: “If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”

Malcolm Thomas
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:

Earl Boykins
Chase Budinger
Samuel Dalembert
Goran Dragic
Kyle Lowry
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.”
Chandler Parsons
Luis Scola: Once said tattoos are not cute (“no quedan lindos”)
Greg Smith

No longer on roster:

Jeff Adrien: no tattoos

NBA tattoos

2013-14 NBA overall tattoo percentage: 55%
241 players with tattoos, 201 without [details]

2013-13 NBA overall tattoo percentage: 56% [details]
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
Pelicans - 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.