Tattoo percentage: 36% (5 players with tattoos, 9 without)
Obviously their major story this year has been Yao Ming’s absence, but slowly this story is transforming to the way this otherwise young team is coming together. More than half of the Houston Rockets are under 25, and while Luis Scola is still a major force, the players to watch are clearly the younger ones. Following the storyline of their tattoos, it’s obvious these guys have been through some trials, and rebuilding a post-Yao team seems like a walk through the park by comparison.
Players with tattoos:
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.’”
A 2010 NBA.com article revisited the end of Lee’s freshman year of college, when his roommate and close friend Danny Rumph died from a heart attack. To commemorate their friendship, and pay tribute, Lee got a tattoo on his right arm.
Miller has a tattoo of cartoon character Scrappy Doo.
While still at Kentucky, Patterson had a Martin Luther King Jr. quote tattooed on his chest: “If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
Another of the heavily-tattooed players born and raised in Seattle, Williams has a tattoo of the number 8 resting in a spiderweb, a reference to the Section 8 housing that he and Nate Robinson and their other friends grew up in, a tattoo that many of them have.
Players without tattoos:
Kevin Martin: Martin is uninterested in tattoos, for several reasons: “I’m never going to get a tattoo. I don’t like needles, so I’m not going to let a needle on me. But I also want to be a clean-cut guy. That’s just how I am.”
Luis Scola: Once said tattoos are not cute (“no quedan lindos”).
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.