J.R. Smith and Glen Davis each have a “Mama’s Boy” tattoo on their right pectoral. They’re surprisingly similar, but whose is better?
Script: Smith went for the spiraling, delicate lettering that replaced Old English (or Black Letter) during the last decade in popularity. The second “m” in “Mama” is a little unbalanced but the detail is nice overall. Davis selected a heavier script that’s almost blockish. While there’s a sentimental weight to Davis’ choice, since it’s closer to the kind of script a kid might use on a mother’s day card, the elegance and motion of Smith’s lettering feels a more respectful tribute. Winner: Smith
Portrait: Well, they’re both pretty mom-like, smiling and soft-eyed. While Smith’s portrait mom has a nice shine to her hair, Davis’ portrait mom has hers up in a bun, away from her face like she’s trying to get some work done. Also the portrait shows her neck and shoulders, which kind of makes her look more like a comic book drawing than a photo. It seems like Davis chose a daytime, real-life image of his mom while Smith went more evening-wear, with earrings. You have to respect both sides. Winner: draw
Background: Surround Smith’s portrait are some heavenly clouds, the same that stretch across his entire chest. A couple of doves flank the design. Davis’s design also has clouds, but they’re parted at the top by sun rays, this very classic heavens-open-up-to-reveal-beauty moment. Winner: Davis
Context: I’m a little confused why neither of them got the tattoo on the left side of their chest, i.e. over their heart. Probably both of them already had tattoos over their hearts, which surprisingly, are also similar–Smith has a portrait of Christ, and Davis has an image of Christ’s hands being pierced by spikes. With the aforementioned clouds, Smith tied his “Mama’s Boy” tattoo into the rest of his upper body tattoos, which has a holistic strength that resonates with his “I got a hell of a story going on” sense of his tattoos. But there’s something potent about Davis keeping the tattoo isolated, focused. He only has one story to tell, of love and devotion. Winner: Davis
By a score of 3 to 2, the 2011 NBA Tattoos “Who wore it better?” Mother’s Day challenge is awarded to Big Baby Davis. Would you want it any other way?
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.