Back in the early 90s, colorful NBA personalities like Dennis Rodman and Allen Iverson made tattoos popular on the hardwood. Now two-thirds of all NBA players have one. Although many of today’s veteran ballers, like LeBron and Melo, sport full sleeved arms and back pieces, a new generation of players has taken body art to a new level, with tattoos from waist to neck.
Jennings’ back court buddy Monta Ellis is one of the most tattooed players in the league. His torso headlines the words “Family First” across his collar bone, accompanied by a portrait of his child and an elaborate family tree (inked by tattoo artist Randy Evans of Tattoos by Randy in Jonesboro, Ga). I don’t think we need any more evidence that the dude is about his family.
It’s safe to say that the Philadelphia 76ers small forward has no more vacant skin on his torso available to cover. The 3-point assassin stands tall at 6’9.” That’s a lot of ink. Our favorite is his inspirational tat, “One Life, One Chance.”
From 2006 to 2011, Smith was part of a Denver Nuggets team that could easily have won the crown as the NBA’s All-Time Most Tattooed Squad. How do you stand out alongside inked ballers like Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and Chris “Birdman” Andersen? I guess you try to cover every inch of your body with tattoos. Smith’s most eye catching pieces have to be his “Jumpman” and number 23 Bulls jersey tattoos in homage to Michael Jordan.
With two teammates already on the list, the Milwaukee Bucks Larry Sanders gives his team a shot as the current Most Tattooed Team in the NBA. The 6’11” forward gets our vote for the best overall designs and cohesiveness.
With every new season, it seems that a few more pieces of ink show up on Matt Barnes’s body. The L.A. Laker started getting tattooed during his four years as a UCLA Bruin, and he says that every tattoo tells a story. Playing in L.A., Barnes has access to some of the best tattoo artists in the world.
Photo by Kevin Sullivan/OC Register
The soft-spoken and humble Kevin Durant made headlines last season when photos of his tattooed, shirtless body surfaced. With his jersey on, the 3-time NBA scoring champ keeps his squeaky clean image intact. When the shirt comes off, KD racks up points with his street cred. His back piece is impressive as well.
Photo: Getty Images