Tattoo percentage: 53% (8 players with tattoos, 7 without)
The Thunder kept their tattoo percentage even with last year.
Players with tattoos:
During the summer of 2011, Durant had a huge tribute to his home state and his deceased coach tattooed on his back. The design has been referred to as a “business tattoo” since the entire design is hidden by his uniform. An interview with the tattoo artist, Randy Harris, revealed that Durant insisted that the tattoo be hidden in this way: “He went out of his way to tell me to not have the tattoos go out of his jersey because he does look at himself as a role model to kids.”
Fisher has a couple of Chinese characters tattooed on his right forearm that translate to “to be faithful in heart, mind, and spirit.”
Perry Jones III
Jones has a tattoo on his left arm of his mother’s name and the text “My Blessing From God.”
Lamb has “about eight tattoos” which were done by Massachusetts-based artist Ryan Jones.
Among Liggins’s many tattoos is a portrait of his older brother, Maurice Davis, who was shot and killed at the age of 18.
Perkins wore #43 on his jersey as a high school student and for his seven and a half seasons with the Celtics. At some point during that time, he had the number 43 tattooed on his shoulder. When he was traded to OKC he switched to #5 as 43 had been retired by the Sonics for Jack Sikma.
Sefolosha’s two tattoos read “The Game Chose Me” and “God Guides My Steps.” In an NBA.com profile, he explained the designs: “Those are two things that are very important in my life: basketball and God.”
Players without tattoos:
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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:
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.