Atlanta Hawks, 2012-13

Tattoo percentage: 80% (12 players with tattoos, 3 without)

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With the additions of Anthony Morrow, DeShawn Stevenson, and Lou Williams, the Hawks tattoo percentage jumped far ahead of last year.

Players with tattoos:

Devin Harris
Harris has an elaborate design tattooed on his left arm. In an interview with The Guardian, Harris explained a bit about the tattoo: “That’s kind of my conscience. It’s just there with me, all the time. I wouldn’t say I designed it but I had a hand in it, me and the tattoo artist himself.”

John Jenkins
Jenkins has a tattoo on his chest, although the design is unknown.

Ivan Johnson
Rembert Browne of Grantland did a great service
by transcribing large portions of a 2008 public radio interview with fan favorite Ivan Johnson. In a particularly emotional segment, Johnson describes his mother’s death and his ongoing connection to her:

I talk to her every day. Little stupid stuff I see in the streets. I laugh with her, talk with her, a pillow that she had in the house that she used to sleep on, I keep that with me all the time. Wherever I go, I keep her obituary with me, just so I can see her face, so I won’t forget how she looked. Before she passed, I got her face tattooed on me, so I’ll never forget how she looked. And that means so much to me.

Dahntay Jones
Jones has a number of tattoos across his arms and chest.

Kyle Korver
In 2006, Korver told Sports Illustrated that he promised his mother he’s wait until her death before getting a tattoo. In 2009, as reported by Omaha.com, he and his brother Kaleb got tattoos of their favorite bible verses. Kaleb remarked that their mother was “good with it” and that they’re trying to convince their other two brothers to join in.

Shelvin Mack
It’s difficult to make out the design (I think it’s a “laugh now/cry later”), but Mack has a tattoo on his left arm.

Johan Petro
Petro has tattoos on both arms.

Mike Scott
Rookie Scott came into the league with 13 tattoos, as described in a ESPN profile:

Scott has 13 tattoos (and counting), including the initials of his two little brothers, Antonn and Derrick, tattooed onto his wrists; his mother’s initials are tattooed on one side of his neck and his father’s tattooed onto the other side.

Josh Smith
Among Smith’s many tattoos is a throwback Hawks logo (circa 1972-1995) on his left arm.

DeShawn Stevenson
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.”

Jeff Teague
As soon as the 2011-12 season ended, Teague added a full sleeve to his left arm.

Lou Williams
Williams has the word “MOTIVATION” tattooed across his back. He explained the design of the tattoo for Urban Ink Magazine:

I designed the tattoo myself when I was 17. The idea came to me to get motivation across my back, and I wanted to spell it out for all the people that motivated me. So, what I did was, I wrote down all the names of family members and friends and all of the people that helped me along the way, and I just made it all intertwine, and it came out perfect. It was incredible how the words went together and everything. I was really motivated by my family and my friends, and the people that supported me from day one.

Players without tattoos:

Al Horford
Zaza Pachulia
Anthony Tolliver



New Jersey Nets 2011-12

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:

MarShon Brooks
The winged basketball on Brooks’ left shoulder is one of my favorite designs in the league.

Jordan Farmar
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.”

Gerald Green
Green has tattoos on both arms.

Damion James
James has both arms pretty done.

Anthony Morrow
In October of 2011 Morrow posted a photo of his back piece on twitter, continuing the family theme begun on his chest.

Johan Petro
Petro has tattoos on both arms.

DeShawn Stevenson
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.”

Gerald Wallace
I love Wallace’s tiger tattoo. It’s great that one of the most energetic and excitable players in the league has a super-calm, un-roaring, un-threatening tiger on his shoulder.

Deron Williams
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.”

Jordan Williams
Williams has a basketball tattooed on his right shoulder.

Shelden Williams
Williams is married to WNBA star Candace Parker. Parker has a key tattooed on her wrist, and Williams has a matching lock tattooed on his wrist.

Players without tattoos:

Sundiata Gaines
Kris Humphries
Brook Lopez

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.



New Jersey Nets, 2010-11

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:

Jordan Farmar
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.”

Dan Gadzuric
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.”

Damion James
Among James’ many tattoos is the classic cross/basketball design on his right shoulder.

Anthony Morrow

Morrow has full sleeves on both his arms, and a tribute to his family across his chest.

Johan Petro

Petro has tattoos on both arms.

Mario West
On West’s left shoulder is a tattoo of a pirate.

Deron Williams

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:

Sundiata Gaines

Stephen Graham 

Kris Humphries

Brook Lopez  

Travis Outlaw

Ben Uzoh 

Sasha Vujacic

Brandan Wright  



NBA tattoos


2013-14 NBA overall tattoo percentage: 55%
241 players with tattoos, 201 without [details]


2013-13 NBA overall tattoo percentage: 56% [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
Pelicans - 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.