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:
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.”
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.”
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.’
Players without tattoos:
No longer on roster:
Derrick Caracter: Caracter has tattoos on both arms and his chest
Jason Kapono: no tattoos
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:
Arroyo’s sole tattoo is his daughter’s name on his left forearm.
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.
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.
Heavily tattooed. His "Year of the Resurrection" text, added in 1999 on his right shoulder, is a nice commemoration of Christian mythos and Y2K anxiety.
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.”
One of the rare tattooed Euro players in the league, Pavlovic has text on his forearm and a tiger on his ankle.
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).
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.
Has a few tattoos, including a cobweb on his elbow, representing his struggle.
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:
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.