New Orleans Pelicans, 2013-14

Tattoo percentage: 33% (5 players with tattoos, 10 without)

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The Pelicans kept their tattoo percentage event with last season.

Players with tattoos:

Alexis Ajinca
Ajinca has a tattoo below his right ear that, as he explained to a reporter in 2010, is ” a symbol that means, ‘The great talent sent from God.’” Apparently it is also the logo for the TV series Heroes

Al-Farouq Aminu
Aminu plays for the Nigerian national basketball team and participated in the 2012 Olympics. The continent of Africa is tattooed on his left arm.

Anthony Morrow
The spiderweb-on-elbow tattoo developed in U.S. prisons, a marker of time served and/or spent waiting. Morrow’s elbow spiderweb has a dramatically different meaning, as he explained to Dime Magazine in 2013: “Yeah, I got the spider web, man. The spider web was basically… I wanted to intertwine all my family, and I feel like the better way was to put a spider web to show we all in it. We’re all in it together, sticking together. Everybody is sticking together.”

Austin Rivers
Rivers has “M.O.A.M.” tattooed on his left wrist, an acronym for “Man On A Mission”; “G.F.B.” on his right wrist, which stands for “God, Family, Basketball”; and the words “Dedicated” and “Determined” tattooed on the inside of his fingers. In this interview, he talks through each of them and mentions that he likes to keep his arms clean of tattoos.

Brian Roberts
Roberts has a tattoo on the inside of his left arm.

Players without tattoos:

Ryan Anderson
Luke Babbitt
Anthony Davis
Tyreke Evans
Eric Gordon
Jrue Holiday
Darius Miller
Jason Smith
Greg Stiemsma
Jeff Withey



Philadelphia 76ers, 2012-13

Tattoo percentage: 47% (7 players with tattoos, 8 without)

Despite still being below the league average, the tattoo percentage for the Sixers actually went up from last year.

Players with tattoos:

Kwame Brown
Brown has a tattoo on his left shoulder.

Royal Ivey
Harlem native Ivey has a massive tribute to New York City tattooed on his back.

Arnett Moultrie
Moultrie has tattoos on both arms.

Jason Richardson
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.

Damien Wilkins
Photographer Janet Klinger made some portraits of Wilkins and his wife that show off the tattoos on his chest and arm.

Dorell Wright
One of the most recognizable of Wright’s many tattoos is the text “G.H.O.S.T.” on his left shoulder. As Wright described to Inked Magazine, “I know that pops out because I see that one on the video games… It’s something me and one of my closest friends thought of, Go Hard Or Stop Trying.”

Nick Young
As described in a 2012 interview for Complex Sports, Young’s most recent tattoo is the text “In Swag We Trust” on his left forearm.

Players without tattoos:

Lavoy Allen
Andrew Bynum
Spencer Hawes

Jrue Holiday: notice that Holiday was listed as having a tattoo for the past two years, based on this photo. I now believe that was an error. Even though his face wasn’t visible, I trusted the caption on this webpage which poked fun at the design. I was further convinced by the fact that the design includes “21” which was Holiday’s jersey number at UCLA. However, revisiting the photo this year, I’m less convinced it’s an image of Holiday, as the number 8 seems visible on the subject’s left bicep, a tattoo I know Holiday doesn’t have. Besides, as an L.A. native, why would he wear a Nationals hat? Finally, a Philadelphia Daily News article about Holiday’s family from February 2013 mentions that tattoos are forbidden by his parents.

Justin Holiday
Charles Jenkins
Evan Turner
Thaddeus Young



Philadelphia 76ers 2011-12

Tattoo percentage: 31% (4 players with tattoos, 9 without)

The 76ers tattoo percentage dropped from last year. Iverson’s presence continues to overshadow the NBA tattoo conversation, which doesn’t have anything to do with the below-average tattoo percentage of the Sixers, but is impossible not to consider. With the exception of Lou Williams, nobody on the team has many tattoos, but in Doug Collins, they do have one of the two tattooed head coaches in the league (the other is Byron Scott).

Players with tattoos:

Tony Battie
An NBA.com chat revealed the backstory of Battie’s Batman logo tattoo: “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.”

Jrue Holiday
It seems the internet has swallowed the photo of Holiday shirtless leaning against a chain link fence. In it, you could see the full back piece with his name and college jersey number (#21).

Andre Iguodala
Iguodala discusses his tattoos in a youtube interview, in which he says he really wants to get them removed, maybe: “I might keep it, but this one I got to take off. I was young when I got these tattoos.”

Lou Williams
Clearly the most tattooed player on the Sixers, Williams seems to have a pretty tricky relationship with tattoos. In 2009 he posted on twitter that he was considering removing most of his tattoos as a sign of his maturity. But he hasn’t gone through with it, and his recent twitter feed shows him enabling other people’s tattoos. As evidenced by a photo posted on twitter, Williams hosted Meek Mill's first tattoo right in his own home. Seeing that made me weirdly jealous of both of them.

Players without tattoos:

Lavoy Allen
Craig Brackins
Elton Brand
Spencer Hawes
Jodie Meeks
Evan Turner
Nikola Vucevic
Sam Young
Thaddeus Young

No longer on roster:

Andres Nocioni: Has tattoos of a wolf, a bear, and his nickname, according to this article on the website Olé.



Philadelphia Sixers, 2010-11

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:

Tony Battie
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.”

Antonio Daniels
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.”

Jrue Holiday  
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.

Andre Iguodala 
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.”

Andres Nocioni
Nocioni has tattoos of a wolf and a bear, the latter of which is marked with his nickname, Chapu.

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

Lou Williams
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:

Craig Brackins   

Elton Brand  

Spencer Hawes   

Jason Kapono 

Jodie Meeks  

Darius Songalia   

Evan Turner 

Thaddeus Young



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.