Most and Least Tatted-Up NBA Teams

Joe Flynn@@ChinaJoeFlynnContributor IJanuary 12, 2014

Most and Least Tatted-Up NBA Teams

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    If you're watching an NBA game at the moment, chances are you are watching someone with a tattoo.

    According to the NBA Tattoo Tumblr, 56 percent of NBA players had at least one tattoo in the 2012-13 season. Now that some new tattooed rookies have been introduced, and tattooed players have changed teams, which NBA squads sport the most ink in 2013-14? Which team has remained conspicuously ink-free?

    This ranking list relies on a listing compile by Slate magazine's Chris Kirk. Does your favorite team make the list? 

1. Atlanta Hawks

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    Tattoo MVP: Pero Antic

    Bow down to the lords of the tat!

    The Atlanta Hawks had the most tattooed players on any NBA team last season, and they've only upped their game in 2013-14 by signing the runaway choice for tattoo rookie of the year, Pero Antic.

    Not only does Antic bring an impressive list of tattoos to the league, he is just an all-around fascinating guy—a 31-year-old rookie and the first player in NBA history to hail from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, according to Basketball Reference.

    Have you ever met anyone from Macedonia? If everyone there looks like Antic, it must be an interesting place.

2. Brooklyn Nets

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    Tattoo MVP: Deron Williams

    The Brooklyn Nets finished tied for second on this list last season, and they maintain their spot by picking up a trio of elderly tattooed gents in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. 

    Brooklyn also may have cornered the market on back tattoos by signing Pierce and Andrei Kirilenko.

    Kirilenko's tattoo is by far the best on the team, but it is concealed by his uniform when he's on the court. Instead, the most conspicuous tattoo in the Barclays Center belongs to point guard Deron Williams.

    Is it a panther? Is it a puma? Whatever it is, it's certainly difficult to ignore.

3. Denver Nuggets

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    Tattoo MVP: Wilson Chandler

    On the court, the 2013-14 Denver Nuggets are known as a team devoid of stars, a team that needs a total team effort to win.

    In the tattoo game, however, Denver has one of the league's brightest stars in forward Wilson Chandler, who is nearly covered in tats.

    Chandler's tat game is like his basketball game: understated. His ink isn't flashy or colorful, like some other players, but it gets the job done.

    Besides Chandler, the Nuggets have a sturdy lineup of tattoos, including most of Ty Lawson's left arm.

4. New York Knicks

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    Tattoo MVP: The Smith Family

    True, Chris Smith is no longer a part of the New York Knicks after being released, but as long as big bro J.R. is on the team, Chris will always be a Knick in spirit.

    J.R. Smith is one of the league's most tatted players. His tattoos have even been the subject of a "Q&A" interview session with the New York Times:

    Q.Do you keep track of how many tattoos you have?

    A. I lost count.

    Q.How many did you have before you think you lost count?

    A. It was around 70-something.

    The Knicks also have a powerful tattoo duo in Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony. All three of them were former Nuggets—coincidence, I think not!

5. Miami Heat

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    Tattoo Co-MVPs: Chris Andersen and Michael Beasley

    How can anyone possibly share a tattoo award with the Birdman? Chris Andersen is pretty much a walking tattoo at this point.

    But like the regular MVP, sometimes it's important to give the tattoo MVP not to the best tattoos, but the tattoos that put a team over the top. 

    Last season, the Miami Heat tied for 11th on the Slate list, despite the presence of the Birdman. Not enough of his teammates were picking up the slack.

    But that has all changed with the addition of Michael Beasley. The man known online as "SuperCoolBeas" has teamed up with Birdman to form an unstoppable one-two tattoo punch.

6. Los Angeles Clippers

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    Tattoo MVP: Matt Barnes

    The Los Angeles Clippers have a league tattoo MVP candidate in Matt Barnes and a pair of tattoo All-Star candidates in Jamal Crawford and DeAndre Jordan.

    But this team loses points because its actual MVP candidate (Chris Paul) and All-Star candidate (Blake Griffin) are conspicuously tattoo-free.

    Hey, Chris and Blake, everyone knows you both are prodigious pitch men. Why not get some corporate logos tattooed on your bodies?

    State Farm would pay good money to Paul for putting its logo on his arm. If that doesn't float your boat, Chris, then you can get Cliff Paul's argyle sweater tattooed on your chest.

    And for you, Blake, how about a tattoo of the Kia Optima's striking exterior?

Least Tatted: San Antonio Spurs

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    Tattoo-less MVP: Marco Belinelli

    Tattoos don't seem very Spurs-like, do they?

    The Spurs finished near the bottom of last year's Slate list. Believe it or not, two-thirds of the Spurs' Big Three (Tim Duncan and Tony Parker) have tattoos. But plenty of other Spurs remain tat-free.

    San Antonio picked up a valuable tat-less asset in the offseason when it signed Marco Belinelli away from Chicago. Belinelli has never desecrated his virgin orange skin with body art.

    Wait...has anyone ever asked Belinelli why his skin is so orange? Is it a spray-on tan? An homage to Speaker of the House John Boehner? Whatever it is, it sure isn't a tattoo.