Tattoo percentage: 57% (8 players with tattoos, 6 players without)
The Lakers were one of the two most tattooed teams in the league last year, but with all of their personnel changes this year they’ve ended up at the league average.
Players with tattoos:
In September 2011, Barnes added a pair of eyes above the “La Famiglia” tattoo on his back, sharing an image on twitter with the explanation, “Gotta watch my back for the snakes & fakes out here.”
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.”
While at college, the heavily tattooed Hill described his tattoos for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, including the tribute for his mother: “My mom passed when I was 3, so I got “in love and memory”, the year she was born and when she died, a basketball and a banner with her name in it, Carol. And on the bottom I got ‘Doing it for you.’
Players without tattoos:
No longer on roster:
Derrick Caracter: Caracter has tattoos on both arms and his chest
Jason Kapono: no tattoos
Tattoo percentage: 40% (6 players with tattoos, 9 without)
Obviously the presence of Iverson overshadows any tattoos happening at Wells Fargo Center. Rodman claims the title, but Iverson is the force that brought tattoos to the NBA, even Joakim Noah says so. These days Philadelphia has a below-average number of tattooed players, but they do have something no other team has: a tattooed head coach. As described by a recent Sports Illustrated profile, Doug Collins has a tattoo of his favorite bible verse (Proverbs 3:5-6) and the names of his four grandchildren on his chest.
Players with tattoos:
Because he normally wears a shooter sleeve or even just an arm band (embarrassed?), it’s not really common knowledge that Battie had a tattoo of the Batman logo on his left arm. For an NBA.com chat, he explained the significance of the design: “I did that in college. All the guys used to call me “Bat” or “Big Bat”. I was a leading shotblocker in college, so I was battin’ down those shots, so the Batman thing just came with that.”
The majority of Daniels’ tattoos are tributes to his brother Chris, who died suddenly in his senior year of college. On his left arm, Daniels wears a portrait of his brother meshed with a cross. Inked on his right arm is the dates of his brother’s birth and death, and over his heart, Japanese characters spelling out “In memory of my brother.”
It’s sad that Holiday doesn’t get to wear #21 for the Sixers (it belongs to Thad Young) since he has it tattooed on his back.
Iguodala discusses his tattoos in a youtube interview, which he really wants to get removed, maybe: “I might keep it, but this one I got to take off. I was young when I got these tattoos.”
Nocioni has tattoos of a wolf and a bear, the latter of which is marked with his nickname, Chapu.
Speights has several tattoos on his arms, including his mother’s name on his forearm.
Williams is clearly the most heavily tattooed player on the Sixers, enough so he doesn’t even register his teammates’ work, which I guess, by comparison, is pretty minimal. A 2011 interview saw him claim: “I’m probably the only guy with tattoos on our team, probably the only one with a little edgy personality, and that’s it. Outside of that, I think we’re a pretty square basketball team.”
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.