As noted earlier (and apparent above), both of Damion James’s arms are pretty dense with tattoos. According to a recent twitter post, he’s not done:
Tattoo percentage: 79% (11 players with tattoos, 3 without)
Jonathan Abrams posted an account on Grantland of a week spent with the Nets at the beginning of this season. It’s kind of a heartbreaker. A big part of it is the haphazard collection of players, which is reflected in the tattoos described below. Like last year, the panthers to Simpsons-reference array is difficult to harmonize, but maybe the prevalence of basketball tattoos on the team will be the common chord. At the very least, they have a lot more tattoos than last year.
Players with tattoos:
Insted were a late 80s posicore band from Anaheim who formed that same year that Farmar was born just 20 miles away in Los Angeles. Farmar has a tattoo that looks suspiciously like the cover of Insted’s first LP, Bonds of Friendship, but according to an interview with Farmar, has a totally different origin: “I got it after my freshman year of college. It’s a picture drawn by my first basketball coach, he’s an artist for the Simpsons.”
In a 2010 video interview, after pointing out his most recent tattoos—his wife’s name above his eyebrow, her initials behind his left ear, and his jersey number on his neck—Stevenson states, “my mom, she said no more tattoos on my face, so I got to listen to her.”
Williams famously got one panther tattoo covered by a different panther tattoo. Among his many designs, including tributes to his family, to basketball, and to the state of Texas, Williams said, “It’s a way to express yourself. I probably won’t like them when I’m 90. But right now I do.”
Players without tattoos:
No longer on roster:
Dennis Horner: Horner has a tattoo of a flaming basketball and his jersey number. There is a facebook page dedicated to it.
About one-sixth of NBA players have a tattoo of a basketball. It makes sense, lots of people commemorate their passions via tattoos: cyclists, chefs, shredders, LL Cool J. Still, what’s amazing is that every team has at least one player with a basketball tattoo, even the Hornets, who only have two tattooed players. Basketball tattoos range from iconic (Jordan jumpman; NBA logo), to narcissistic (Carlos Boozer’s self portrait), to symbolic (basketball wearing a crown, basketball meshed with a cross), to weird (Rip Hamilton’s gravestone). Going division by division, Every Team’s Got One will sort out the the highlights across the league, starting here with the Atlantic division.
New Jersey Nets
New York Knicks
Tattoo percentage: 47% (7 players with tattoos, 8 without)
From panthers to blood puddles to pirates to vaguely Simpsons-related art, the Nets really showcase the diversity of tattoos present in the NBA.
Players with tattoos:
Insted were a late 80s posicore band from Anaheim who formed the same year that Farmar was born just 20 miles away in Los Angeles. Farmar has a tattoo that looks suspiciously like the cover of Insted’s first LP, Bonds of Friendship, but according to an interview, has a totally different origin: “I got it after my freshman year of college. It’s a picture drawn by my first basketball coach, he’s an artist for the Simpsons.”
Gadzuric’s mother is from Serbia, his father from Saint Vincent. Although the two countries are separated by an ocean, and have never been in direct conflict, they both have violent histories, a story told in Gadzuric’s back tattoo: “The tattoo on my back are two countries joining together with praying hands, covered with blood creating a puddle on the bottom. The two countries represent my two ethnicities.”
Among James’ many tattoos is the classic cross/basketball design on his right shoulder.
Morrow has full sleeves on both his arms, and a tribute to his family across his chest.
Petro has tattoos on both arms.
On West’s left shoulder is a tattoo of a pirate.
Williams famously got one panther tattoo covered by a different panther tattoo. Among his many tattoos, including tributes to his family, basketball, and the state of Texas, Williams said, “It’s a way to express yourself. I probably won’t like them when I’m 90. But right now I do.”
Players without 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.