Los Angeles Lakers, 2012-13

Tattoo percentage: 67% (10 players with tattoos, 5 without)

The Lakers increased their tattoo percentage from last year.

Players with tattoos:

Steve Blake
On the Lakers blog, while playing the game Would You Rather, Blake revealed that, “I do have one tattoo, but it’s not visible to the public eye.”

Kobe Bryant
Bryant has a few tattoos on his right arm, including his wife’s name, his daughters’ names, a crown, and wings.

Earl Clark
In January of 2013, ESPNLA.com Lakers beat writer Dave McMenamin revealed via twitter that Earl Clark has two player uniforms tattooed on his chest: “Iverson’s No. 3 (he was a fan growing up in NJ) and friend Kevin Widemond’s No. 12.”

Chris Duhon
Duhon has the words “My Word My Bond” tattooed on the inside of his right bicep, and “My Boys My Blood” tattooed on the inside of his left bicep.

Devin Ebanks
Ebanks’ high school coach used to say “Make shots, not excuses,” a phrase that resonated deeply enough that two players on the team wanted to make it permanent. “He was going to get the tattoo, but I stole it,” Ebanks said in a Times West Virginian article, referring to a teammate who intended to have the phrase tattooed on his arm. “I got it before he did.”

Andrew Goudelock
Goudelock has tattoos on both shoulders.

Jordan Hill
Among Hill’s many tattoos is the text “Mo Money” on his hands.

Antawn Jamison
Tattooed on Jamison’s left shoulder is a scene where an angel stands beneath a cross, a tribute to his grandmother who died when he was in high school. “Ever since she passed, she’s been my angel,” Jamison explained in a 2008 Washington Post article. “As a kid, I thought she was the only person that actually believed I could be an NBA player.”

Robert Sacre
Among Sacre’s many tattoos are portraits of DMX and Snoop Dogg on his torso.

Metta World Peace
World Peace has the name “Quanisha” tattooed on his bicep, a tribute to his sister who died as an infant.

Players without tattoos:

Pau Gasol
Dwight Howard
Jodie Meeks
Darius Morris
Steve Nash



Chris Duhon

Thanks to NBA Off-Season we now know that Chris Duhon has tattoos on the inside of his biceps. The Orlando Magic and 2011-12 overall statistics have been adjusted accordingly.



Orlando Magic, 2011-12

Tattoo percentage: 67% (10 players with tattoos, 5 without)

Orlando’s tattoo percentage is basically the same as it was last year. And as of right now, their win percentage is about the same as it was last year (.625 this year vs. .634 last year). Weird, right?

Players with tattoos:

Earl Clark
While still in college, Clark was the feature of a profile on the IMG Basketball Academy website that discussed the tattoo on his hand: “Me and my best friend from Jersey came up with BFAM (point to a tattoo on his hand). It means Brother From Another Mother. I heard about some NBA players with BFAM, and I’ve seen some people with it on their hat, but we were talking about this since we were young. All of my friends from the neighborhood who grew up together, we’ve all got the tattoo. We’re like brothers, and it’s just a sign of loyalty.”

Glen Davis
In the beginning of 2010 Davis announced that he would abandon his “Big Baby” nickname, however he continues to keep his mother close to his heart with her portrait and the text “mama’s boy” tattooed on his chest.

Chris Duhon
Duhon has "My Word My Bond" tattooed on the inside of his right bicep, and "My Boys My Blood" tattooed on the inside of his left bicep.

Justin Harper
Harper has tattoos on both arms, including a pretty majestic cross on his left shoulder.

DeAndre Liggins
Liggins wears jersey #34 in tribute to his older brother, Maurice Davis, who was shot and killed outside of his high school at the age of eighteen (Liggins was 14 at the time). Davis was a promising high school player, and his death inspired Liggins’s game, as quoted in a 2011 profile: “When he died, I felt like I had to carry on his dream. This is what he wanted to do. I’m living his dream for him. Hopefully I’m making him proud.” Liggins also wears a portrait of his brother on his right arm, one of many tattoos that earned him a shout out on Bleed Blue Tattoo.

Jameer Nelson
"ALL EYES ON ME" is tattooed across Nelson’s back, a reference to 2Pac’s legendary 1996 album, "All Eyez on Me."

J.J. Redick
In December of 2011, Redick posted a photo of his forearm tattoo, which quotes a Kings of Leon song.

Jason Richardson
A 2010 profile in the Phoenix New Times reported that Richardson has 26 tattoos, including his nickname (THA FACTOR), a grim reaper, the names of his family members, and a figure holding a basketball. According to an earlier Phoenix New Times article, none of these designs were chosen lightly, as explained by Richardson: “I don’t get tattooed unless I’m 100 percent sure.”

Quentin Richardson
A 2010 report by the Orlando Sentinel got deep into the tragedy in Richardson’s life, his mother’s death from breast cancer and the shooting deaths of two of his three brothers (one of whom is memorialized in tattoo on Richardson’s forearm). The accompanying photo slideshow illustrates his “life’s storyboard [as] seen through his tattoos.” I love that he’s smiling and laughing in every picture, contradicting the heartbreak of the text. Unrelated bonus fact: when Richardson and Brandy were dating in 2004, she had his portrait tattooed on her shoulder, but has since had it covered up with a butterfly.

Von Wafer
Wafer has several tattoos, including a cobweb on his right elbow. Traditionally, cobweb tattoos indicate time spent in prison, although recently the design has also come to represent struggle in a more general sense.

Players without tattoos:

Ryan Anderson
Dwight Howard
Daniel Orton
Ish Smith
Hedo Turkoglu



Orlando Magic, 2010-11

Tattoo percentage: 62% (8 players with tattoos, 5 without)

Animals make great tattoos—lions, tigers, bulls—all serious symbols, clear in their meanings. An even quicker path to pure signification is text, spelling out declarations, promises, and reminders. Players on the Magic tend towards one or the other, the same way they either shoot threes or put the ball inside for Dwight Howard. The fact that either strategy works for them is not too different from the fact that, regardless of their prevalence, animal tattoos and text tattoos tell a story really well.



Players with tattoos:

Malik Allen

Allen has a tattoo of a bull on his shoulder blade.

Gilbert Arenas
The Washington Post website has a great video of Arenas talking through his tattoos. When they come to the tiger that covers most of his stomach, the interviewer asks “why the tiger?” to which Arenas replies: “That’s what I am a fierce beast, king of the jungle.” The reporter replies that many people believe that the lion is king of the jungle, but in Agent Zero’s usual enigmatic way, he replies simply, and definitively: “Tiger’s king of the jungle.”

Brandon Bass 
Bass has tattoos on both arms, reaching from his shoulders to his forearms.

Earl Clark
While still in college, Clark was the feature of a profile on the IMG Basketball Academy website that discussed the tattoo on his hand: “Me and my best friend from Jersey came up with BFAM (point to a tattoo on his hand). It means Brother From Another Mother. I heard about some NBA players with BFAM, and I’ve seen some people with it on their hat, but we were talking about this since we were young. All of my friends from the neighborhood who grew up together, we’ve all got the tattoo. We’re like brothers, and it’s just a sign of loyalty.”

Jameer Nelson
Nelson has a lot to say about fear in his tattoos, addressing it in three different text designs as he listed in an NBA chat transcript: “I have one that says ‘King of My Kingdom’, one that says ‘Fear No Man’, I have one that says ‘Loyalty’, another that says, ‘Accomplish Everything Without Fear’, another says ‘No Fear’ and another that is in honor of my Grandmother. That’s about it.”

J.J. Redick
Reddick has several tattoos, all of which address his religion, sections of scripture on his torso and the word “faith” on his wrist. He discussed his thoughts about his own tattoos, and those of other players in the league, on his website in 2008: “Each one of my five tattoos represent something unique and special to me. Yes, I could have probably gotten rubber bands made with the word “faith” on them instead of having “faith” tattooed on the inside of my wrist. But the tattoo is permanent, just like my faith in Christ. It serves as a reminder everyday to believe in the power and the love of God. People that have tattoos are not part of some weird subculture nor are NBA players “thugs” because they have permanent ink on their bodies. I’ve seen plenty of tattooed NBA players who donate money and time to charity, or go to church every Sunday, or visit sick kids in the hospital. That being said, my new tattoo is a latin phrase that runs all the way down my ribcage. I’m sure y’all can figure it out.”

Quentin Richardson
A 2010 report by the Orlando Sentinel got deep into the tragedy in Richardson’s life, his mother’s death from breast cancer and the shooting deaths of two of his three brothers (one of whom is memorialized in tattoo on Richardson’s forearm). The accompanying photo slideshow illustrates his “life’s storyboard [as] seen through his tattoos.” I love that he’s smiling and laughing in every picture, contradicting the heartbreak of the text.

Jason Richardson
A 2010 profile in the Phoenix New Times reported that Richardson has 26 tattoos, including his nickname (THA FACTOR), a grim reaper, the names of his family members, and a figure holding a basketball. According to an earlier Phoenix New Times article, none of these designs were chosen lightly, as explained by Richardson: “I don’t get tattooed unless I’m 100 percent sure.”

Players without tattoos:

Ryan Anderson  

Chris Duhon   

Dwight Howard  

Daniel Orton 

Hedo Turkoglu  



NBA tattoos


2012-13 NBA overall tattoo percentage: 56%
250 players with tattoos, 196 without [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
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.