Memphis Grizzlies, 2013-14

Tattoo percentage: 47% (7 players with tattoos, 8 without)

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The Grizzlies have fewer tattooed players than last season.

Players with tattoos:

Mike Conley
As described in a video interview, Conley has Luke 23:34 (“Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”) tattooed on his right arm. He explained in the video that the tattoo helped him during his first years in the league, during a time in which, “off the court, I was always sad, always looking at things in a negative view, and I found this quote… it moved me a lot, and I just wanted to have that stick with me.”

Ed Davis
Davis has tattoos along both arms.

Jamaal Franklin
Franklin has tattoos on both of his arms.

James Johnson
The collection of tattoos on Johnson’s arms includes a collection of aces, a portrait of Christ, an castle turret, and the air Jordan logo.

Courtney Lee
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.

Mike Miller
Miller has a handful of tattoos, including a Celtic Tree of Life on his right shoulder, a onetime mystery unraveled by the great blog Son of Sam Bowie.

Zach Randolph
Randolph has tattoos on both arms.

Players without tattoos:

Tony Allen
Nick Calathes
Marc Gasol
Kosta Koufos
Jon Leuer
Quincy Pondexter
Tayshaun Prince
Beno Udrih



Memphis Grizzlies, 2012-13

Tattoo percentage: 60% (9 players with tattoos, 6 without)

The Grizzlies saw their tattoo percentage decrease from last year.

Players with tattoos:

Darrell Arthur
Arthur has a great tattoo on his back.

Jerryd Bayless
Bayless described his massive backpiece as “a college mistake” and goes on to declare that he “regrets it everyday.”

Mike Conley
As described in a video interview, Conley has Luke 23:34 (“Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”) tattooed on his right arm. He explained in the video that the tattoo helped him during his first years in the league, during a time in which, “off the court, I was always sad, always looking at things in a negative view, and I found this quote… it moved me a lot, and I just wanted to have that stick with me.”

Ed Davis
Davis has tattoos along both arms.

Keyon Dooling
According to NBA.com, the cross tattoo on Dooling’s shoulder is to remind him that he’s blessed.

Donte Greene
Greene has tattoos on both arms.

Zach Randolph
Randolph has tattoos on both arms.

Willie Reed
Reed has tattoos on both arms and across his chest.

Tony Wroten
Wroten has tattoos covering both arms.

Players without tattoos:

Tony Allen
Austin Daye
Marc Gasol
Jon Leuer
Quincy Pondexter
Tayshaun Prince



Memphis Grizzlies, 2011-12

Tattoo percentage: 71% (10 players with tattoos, 4 without)

Players with tattoos:

Gilbert Arenas
The Washington Post website has a great video of Arenas talking through his tattoos. When they come to the tiger that covers most of his stomach, the interviewer asks “why the tiger?” to which Arenas replies: “That’s what I am a fierce beast, king of the jungle.” The reporter replies that many people believe that the lion is king of the jungle, but in Agent Zero’s usual enigmatic way, he replies simply, and definitively: “Tiger’s king of the jungle.”

Darrell Arthur
Arthur has a great tattoo on his back.

Mike Conley
Conley has tattoos on both arms.

Dante Cunningham
As of his senior year of college (2009), Cunningham has nine tattoos, including one that reads “TROUBLE” on his left arm.

Rudy Gay
In February of 2011, Gay separated his shoulder in a season-ending injury that required seven months of rehab. The down time sent Gay into new territory, as reported by the website Go Grizzlies on the one-year anniversary of his injury: “I tried not to get depressed but it happened,” Gay said. “I was doing stuff I normally wouldn’t do and I’ve got tattoos to show for it.”

Hamed Haddadi
The NBA’s first Iranian player has a stylized dragon tattooed on his left shoulder.

O.J. Mayo
While still in high school, Mayo had his childhood nickname, “Juice Monster,” and his hoped-for nickname, “King Kong,” (“I’d like that to be my motto; I’m King Kong of the court,” he said in 2007) tattooed on his arms.

Zach Randolph
Randolph has tattoos on both arms.

Josh Selby
Selby is one of four Kansas Jayhawks with a “FOE” tattoo, which stands for “Family Over Everything.” The other three are Thomas Robinson and the Morris twins. Selby was the originator, however, having added the design while in eighth grade. Selby is rumored to have a tattoo that reads “Only God Can Guard Me” which flips the common NBA tattoo Only God Can Judge Me sported by Kevin Garnett, Mike Bibby, and Derrick Rose among others. Sadly, there’s no confirmation or photographic proof of the design.

Marreese Speights
Speights has several tattoos on his arms, including his mother’s name on his forearm.

Players without tattoos:

Tony Allen
Marc Gasol
Jeremy Pargo: Pargo doesn’t have any tattoos, but Wale has him almost convinced to start
Quincy Pondexter

No longer on roster:

Josh Davis: no tattoos
Brian Skinner: tattoos on both arms



Memphis Grizzlies, 2010-11

Tattoo percentage: 36% (5 players with tattoos, 9 without)

A lot of talk about how the Grizzlies came out of nowhere in these playoffs. Definitely watching them take out the Spurs was the best story of the first round, and on a personal level, having watched Z-Bo in Portland and in New York, I’m happy to see him playing so well. Anyway, I guess “out of nowhere” means “there aren’t a lot of photos of them on the internet” because I really can’t find great evidence or images of their tattoos. Sorry.



Players with tattoos:

Darrell Arthur
Arthur has tattoos on both shoulders and a "King Arthur" backpiece.

Mike Conley
Conley has a tattoo on his left shoulder.

Hamed Haddadi  
On Haddadi’s left shoulder is a stylized dragon.

O.J. Mayo  
"Juice Monster" is a crazy tattoo, even if it was Mayo’s childhood nickname. His "dedication" and "sacrifice" bicep tattoos are meaningful, but it’s his King Kong design that speaks the most: “I’d like that to be my motto; I’m King Kong of the court,” he said in a 2007 interview.

Zach Randolph
Randolph has tattoos on both arms. Nike had him pose with a sword once.

Players without tattoos:

Tony Allen   

Shane Battier: Asked he ever wanted a tattoo, Battier confessed, “No. You know what, I’m not cool enough to pull it off. If I got one it’d be really dorky — it would look funny on me.”

Marc Gasol  

Rudy Gay   

Xavier Henry  

Leon Powe   

Ishmael Smith   

Greivis Vasquez   

Sam Young   



NBA tattoos


2012-13 NBA overall tattoo percentage: 56%
250 players with tattoos, 196 without [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
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.