Memphis Grizzlies, 2011-12

Tattoo percentage: 71% (10 players with tattoos, 4 without)

Players with tattoos:

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.”

Darrell Arthur
Arthur has a great tattoo on his back.

Mike Conley
Conley has tattoos on both arms.

Dante Cunningham
As of his senior year of college (2009), Cunningham has nine tattoos, including one that reads “TROUBLE” on his left arm.

Rudy Gay
In February of 2011, Gay separated his shoulder in a season-ending injury that required seven months of rehab. The down time sent Gay into new territory, as reported by the website Go Grizzlies on the one-year anniversary of his injury: “I tried not to get depressed but it happened,” Gay said. “I was doing stuff I normally wouldn’t do and I’ve got tattoos to show for it.”

Hamed Haddadi
The NBA’s first Iranian player has a stylized dragon tattooed on his left shoulder.

O.J. Mayo
While still in high school, Mayo had his childhood nickname, “Juice Monster,” and his hoped-for nickname, “King Kong,” (“I’d like that to be my motto; I’m King Kong of the court,” he said in 2007) tattooed on his arms.

Zach Randolph
Randolph has tattoos on both arms.

Josh Selby
Selby is one of four Kansas Jayhawks with a “FOE” tattoo, which stands for “Family Over Everything.” The other three are Thomas Robinson and the Morris twins. Selby was the originator, however, having added the design while in eighth grade. Selby is rumored to have a tattoo that reads “Only God Can Guard Me” which flips the common NBA tattoo Only God Can Judge Me sported by Kevin Garnett, Mike Bibby, and Derrick Rose among others. Sadly, there’s no confirmation or photographic proof of the design.

Marreese Speights
Speights has several tattoos on his arms, including his mother’s name on his forearm.

Players without tattoos:

Tony Allen
Marc Gasol
Jeremy Pargo: Pargo doesn’t have any tattoos, but Wale has him almost convinced to start
Quincy Pondexter

No longer on roster:

Josh Davis: no tattoos
Brian Skinner: tattoos on both arms



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.