Tattoo percentage: 47% (7 players with tattoos, 8 players without tattoos)
The Spurs have one less tattooed players than last year. DeJuan Blair is their only really heavily tattooed player, but the surprise of Tim Duncan’s tattoos and the stressfulness of Stephen Jackson’s tattoos keeps their team remarkable.
Players with tattoos:
Proud owner of one of the most hectic tattoos in the league: the standard praying hands on his stomach, but in this design the hands cradle an automatic handgun. When asked about the tattoo’s significance, Jackson explained the design is literal: “I pray I never have to use it again.”
When Parker and Eva Longoria got married, they both got tattoos of their wedding date. In the aftermath of their breakup, Longoria initially denied having her tattoo of Parker’s jersey number removed, but TMZ reports that she had it removed this year.
Players without tattoos:
No longer on roster:
Eric Dawson: no tattoos
T.J. Ford: no tattoos
A few weeks ago, someone asked about the most famous tattoo artists who’ve worked on NBA players. At the time, I posted about Randy Harris of Tattoos by Randy and Mr. Cartoon, but wanted to mention a couple others:
The first is Ryan Hill, who grew up with Matt Barnes in Sacramento and has done nearly all of the guard’s tattoos: “A friend of mine from high school, Ryan Hill, became a tattoo artist and got really good at it,” Barnes said in an article for the Arizona Republic. “He did my first one and all but maybe one of the others.” Over the years, Barnes has introduced teammates including Monta Ellis, Al Harrington, and Stephen Jackson to Hall, all of whom have had work done by him.
The second is Gus Garcia of Orlando Ink, who has done tattoos for Jameer Nelson, Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus, and BIG PUN. There’s a short commercial for Garcia on youtube where he’s working on a really nice see no evil/hear no evil/speak no evil design.
Anonymous asked: Hello! Any insight into who the artists are who've tattooed many of the NBA players? (Or a list of some of the most famous?) Thanks!
Sure! There are a couple artists who can claim to have tattooed the most NBA players.
The first is Mr. Cartoon, based in Los Angeles. Cartoon is best known for his work with rappers and other musicians—his wikipedia page lists Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Prodigy, Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé. He’s done tattoos for many of the most notoriously tattooed NBA players, including Amar’e Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer. He’s also done some charity work with LeBron James, but I’m not sure he he’s done any LBJ’s tattoos.
I think the dude that’s responsible for tattooing the most NBA players has to be Randy Harris from Tattoos by Randy, based in Atlanta. His myspace page is an incredible source of photos of NBA players—Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Richardson, Quentin Richardson, Shelden Williams. The list is long, I mean, Stephen Jackson actually has his own portfolio. If you check his twitter page, you’ll see a lot of dialogue with NBA players. He and Kevin Durant exchanged a lot of discussion about new designs via twitter last summer, culminating in a photo of Randy and Durant’s massive backpiece. The OKC connection doesn’t stop there, as Randy has also done work for Royal Ivey and Eric Maynor. Randy has also done a lot of work for Monta Ellis, and apparently the two go fishing together as well.
I keep meaning to do a rundown of all of the players Randy has tattooed, but in the meantime I saw today on twitter that iHoopAround will premiere a piece about Tattoos by Randy with input from Durant, Maynor, and Daequan Cook. I’ll post a link when that happens….
Can’t believe I missed this. Tattoo Time with Mike Tyson is a segment on Jimmy Kimmel where Iron Mike runs down celebrity tattoos. In the clip above, he covers Kobe Bryant, DeShawn Stevenson, and Kenyon Martin. He’s got punchlines for Bryant and Martin, but the DeShawn Stevenson bit is just kind of weird and unfinished. There are two other clips available online—one covers LeBron James, Marquis Daniels, and Chris Andersen and the other covers Stephen Jackson and Robert Swift.
Ellis is one of my favorites in the league. Things got pretty tough for him at the end of this year (and that season-ending concussion was one of the scarier injuries I’ve seen in a long time) but in the colder part of the winter I stayed up late for every single Warriors game, and they were some of the only ones I went back and watched a second time. A big part of that was Monta’s 4th quarter shooting, which I like because he’s creative and athletic and so ridiculously quick, but also because he’s so nonchalant about it. Strolling over to the free throw line like he didn’t just tie the game with four seconds left. Languidly tapping Acie Law’s hand while the whole rest of the team is jumping up and down screaming. He might as well be alone at Sunday morning on a playground. No big deal.
Recently both Ball Don’t Lie and Basketball Jones have reported on Ellis’ “new” tree tattoo. The thing is, the tattoo isn’t new. The earliest I saw the above photo was in January on Portland Roundball Society but I have a feeling it’s older than that. That’s a lot of ink to get mid-season.
The recent attention comes from the new photo of Monta that appears on the Tattoos by Randy myspace page. Randy is an Atlanta-based artist who I think has done more work for NBA players than anyone—Stephen Jackson, Josh Smith, AI, Lou Williams. He’s also Carmelo Anthony’s main guy. Here’s a photo of Randy and Monta fishing together:
more on Randy soon…
Tattoo percentage: 47% (7 players with tattoos, 8 without)
Did you know that Michael Jordan has a brand? It’s hard to make out in photos, but he has a Greek letter burned into his chest to represent his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi. In my imagination, Jordan is weird and competitive enough that this is an issue for players on the Bobcats, who have less tattooed players than most of the league. Even their tattooed players feel toned down compared to other teams, with the obvious exceptions of Stephen Jackson and Tyrus Thomas.
Players with tattoos:
Has a touching tribute to his deceased grandmother tattooed on his back. A pair of hands hold a basketball beside the text “thanks for the rock” to memorialize his first ball, which was purchased by his grandmother for his fifth birthday.
Has a tattoo below his right elbow.
As of his senior year of college (2009), Cunningham has nine tattoos, including one that reads “TROUBLE” on his left arm.
Proud owner of one of the most hectic tattoos in the league: the standard praying hands on his stomach, but in this design the hands cradle an automatic handgun. When asked about the tattoo’s significance, Jackson explained the design was literal: “I pray I never have to use it again.”
It’s tough to get a good look at McGuire’s open hands tattoo on his right bicep, but it looks incredible.
Among his several tattoos are a basketball player on his right bicep accompanied by the text “Not in my house” and his wife’s name in a heart with roses.
Easily the most heavily tattooed players on the Bobcats, Thomas admits to disliking his first tattoo: “The name was just like the first one. I think a lot of people usually get their name as the first one. If I could do it over I wouldn’t. You know, I know my name.”
Players without tattoos:
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.