If you ever need proof that the 1950’s era of basketball has passed us by, take a look at NBA Player tattoos these days. NBA players seem to be adding body part every other day and now dozens of players are approaching what I like to call “the Dennis Rodman threshold” where fans start to pay as much attention to the tats as the play. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best and worst NBA Player Tattoos in the league. Of course, if we missed any of your favorites, be sure to discuss them on the Forum!
Marcin Gortat’s “Air Jordan”
Young European center Marcin Gortat likes to admire greatness. That is why he has the Air Jordan logo tattooed on his leg. As a lifelong Bulls fan, I applaud that decision and will look for it every time I watch the Suns play. Considering the state of their rebuilding process, that may be the only thing I watch out for.
Jason William’s “White Boy”
There are a lot of haters out there for Jason William’s knuckle tats but personally I think they are pretty funny. Spelling out “Whit Eboy” on your knuckles and playing the NBA? Well its certainly not cliché.
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Brandon Jenning’s “Young Money”
The heir to Allen Iverson in style if not substance, Milwaukee’s young franchise point guard clearly sees money in the future. That’s why he had it tattooed across his back. Give him credit for confidence.
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Stephen Jackson’s “Prayer of Death”
Talk about role-modeling. Pray or else! That is Charlotte Bobcat’s star Stephen Jackson’s motto-at least judging by his body-art. The tattoo depicts two hands raised but, instead of raised in prayer, they are clasped around a gun. Of course, Jackson seems to know one end of a gun from the other so that’s not much of a surprise….but predictability doesn’t make it much better.
Stephon Marbury’s “Starhead”
My friend’s father still tells his five year old son that it’s photo-shopped by the networks. That’s how bad it is: Marbury literally had a star tattooed onto the side of his head. If Stephen Jackson’s tattoo wasn’t geared at inciting religious warfare, this one would top the list.
Chris Andersen’s “The Birdman’s Wings”
There isn’t anything intrinsically awful with the Birdman’s tattoos….they just flat out don’t look very good. Andersen has a red wing on each arm in order to make it look as if he’s flying when he raises his arms….but the effect makes him look like one of those weird bird-like creatures from Lord of the Rings. Not the kind of stuff that will land you on the cover of GQ.
Carmelo Anthony’s “WB”
Apparently, the tattoo stands for West Baltimore, which is where Anthony grew up. Having spent the last four years in Baltimore, I would have plenty of respect for that quote….except that it is in the form of the Warner Brothers logo! Is that some new form of hidden endorsement deal that we don’t know about yet? Will Amare get an NBC logo so they can battle it out (and, ironically, leave Knick’s owner Cablevision out in the cold)?
Kenyon Martin’s “Lips”
Kenyon Martin, whose large collection of body art rivals anyone in professional sports or the Guinness Book of World Records, has one tattoo that is particularly awful: the lips. Martin had his girlfriend kiss a piece of paper and then had the imprint tattooed on his neck. That’s one of the few things you could do to get a McDonald’s application rejected….not that Martin will need that. He’s making seventeen million dollars this year after all.
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