When I asked a good friend of mine if he'd get a tattoo of me for my birthday, the answer was rather definitive. I was met with a blank stare followed up by a quick "no."
Fortunately, the Smith family is a little more loyal.
Accompanying the picture is a short birthday message from one brother to the more famous one:
Happy Birthday to my big Brother @teamswish always got my back no matter what facts say what you want I Love my big bro!!! And we gone turn up life is to short#teamswish #the40boiz .... Always got my back
There is no word concerning whether J.R. asked for this type of present, but he got it regardless. What could be a more telling sign of love and affection than bearing a permanent representation of your brother's likeness—one that cost money and pain to produce?
Well, maybe a gift card to one of Smith's favorite restaurants, a collection of movies to keep him busy during his five-game suspension or even a chance to go get a tattoo of his own. We all know about Smith's affinity for ink, and he has a nice open space for another one on his forehead or either cheek.
In fact, if all goes according to plan for the New York Knicks, this may not be the only prominent Smith tattoo in the news during the next calendar year. As reported in April by Marc Berman of the New York Post, J.R. planned to get one more if the Knicks won the NBA title last postseason:
J.R. Smith has 100 tattoos, including Yankees and Devils logos.
If the Knicks break their 40-year championship drought, Smith vowed to add orange-and-blue ink to his body for No. 101.
Yes, a Knicks tattoo could be coming, even though he is a free agent this summer.
Would he stick to that promise if the Knicks were NBA champions in 2013-14? It's hard to say where the shooting guard would even get his ink, though.
After all this tattoo news, I do have one enduring question.
Does this mean that J.R. has to have that goatee for the rest of his life? If he changed facial hair styles, his brother's heartfelt present would no longer be as accurate.
While you ponder that, I have a phone call to make. My brother and I need to talk about birthday presents.