Los Angeles Lakers, 2011-12

Tattoo percentage: 57% (8 players with tattoos, 6 players without)

The Lakers were one of the two most tattooed teams in the league last year, but with all of their personnel changes this year they’ve ended up at the league average.

Players with tattoos:

Matt Barnes
In September 2011, Barnes added a pair of eyes above the “La Famiglia” tattoo on his back, sharing an image on twitter with the explanation, “Gotta watch my back for the snakes & fakes out here.”

Steve Blake
On the Lakers blog, while playing the game Would You Rather, Blake revealed that, “I do have one tattoo, but it’s not visible to the public eye.”

Kobe Bryant
Bryant has a few tattoos on his right arm, including his (ex-) wife’s name, his daughters’ names, a crown, and wings.

Devin Ebanks
Ebanks’ high school coach used to say “Make shots, not excuses,” a phrase that resonated deeply enough that two players on the team wanted to make it permanent. “He was going to get the tattoo, but I stole it,” Ebanks said in a Times West Virginian article, referring to a teammate who intended to have the phrase tattooed on his arm. “I got it before he did.”

Christian Eyenga
Eyenga arrived at media day for the 2011-12 season with a tattoo visible beneath his uniform that spanned from shoulder to shoulder.

Andrew Goudelock
Goudelock has tattoos on both shoulders.

Jordan Hill
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.’

Metta World Peace
World Peace has the name “Quanisha” tattooed on his bicep, a tribute to his sister who died as an infant.

Players without tattoos:

Andrew Bynum
Pau Gasol
Josh McRoberts
Darius Morris
Troy Murphy
Ramon Sessions

No longer on roster:

Derrick Caracter: Caracter has tattoos on both arms and his chest
Jason Kapono: no tattoos

Boston Celtics 2010-11

Tattoo percentage:66% (10 players with tattoos/5 without)

Despite some trade-deadline maneuvers that sent away heavily tattooed Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson for un-tattooed Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic, the Celtics remain above the league average for tattooed players.

Players with tattoos:

Carlos Arroyo

Arroyo’s sole tattoo is his daughter’s name on his left forearm.

Glen Davis

In the beginning of 2010 Davis announced that he would abandon his “Big Baby” nickname, however he continues to keep his mother close to his heart with her portrait and the text "mama’s boy" tattooed on his chest.

Kevin Garnett

Among KG’s few tattoos is the following text on his forearm: “Only God can Judge me. Rest in Peace MS2.” The text is a tribute combining the initials and jersey number of his Timberwolves teammate Malik Sealy who was killed by a drunk driver in 2000. Former teammate (and current Laker) Joe Smith has the same tribute on his arm.

Jermaine O’Neal

tattooed. His "Year of the Resurrection" text, added in 1999 on his right shoulder, is a nice commemoration of Christian mythos and Y2K anxiety.

Shaquille O’Neal

In typical Shaq humor, O’Neal claimed in a 2009 article, “I have all these tattoos because my parents let me get them. I have to fax the designs to them beforehand.”

Aleksandar Pavlovic

One of the rare tattooed Euro players in the league, Pavlovic has text on his forearm and a tiger on his ankle.

Paul Pierce

In 2010 he got his nickname, “The Truth” tattooed on his forearm, garnished with a couple of clever references to the game: a clover for the Celtics and a pair of dice reading 3 and 4 (his jersey number is 34).

Rajon Rondo

Although it can’t be seen on the court, Rondo has the Rolls Royce logo inked on his back, a gentle reference to his initials.

Von Wafer

Has a few tattoos, including a cobweb on his elbow, representing his struggle.

Delonte West

Among his many tattoos (including a Christian religious narrative that starts on his neck and runs down his chest) is script along his ribs reads: “For those I love I sacrifice.” In an interview he elaborated, “I definitely sacrificed getting them on these ribs, I’ll tell you that.”

Players without tattoos:

Ray Allen

Avery Bradley

Jeff Green

Nenad Krstic

Troy Murphy

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.