Los Angeles Lakers: Ranking the Best Tattoos on the Lakers

Corey CohnCorrespondent IIIAugust 9, 2011

Los Angeles Lakers: Ranking the Best Tattoos on the Lakers

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    NBA players have a certain affinity for tattoos, and the Los Angeles Lakers are no exception.

    Sure, no one in purple and gold can presently rival Denver Nuggets center Chris Andersen (then again, who would want to?), but the Lakers sport some interesting ink nevertheless.

    What's more, the Lakers, as many players do, seem to use their body art to showcase their love and/or memory for those closest to them.

    That being said, bonus points will be awarded in this list to those who demonstrate sincere sentimentality. For those of you born without a soul, you might want to stop reading now.

    Here are the five Lakers with the best tattoos.


    Special thanks to The Athlete Tattoo Database.

5. Kobe Bryant

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    Kobe Bryant may have since restored his image to its rightful place among the NBA elite, but the Los Angeles Lakers guard had some major publicity damage control to complete after his fateful night in Eagle, Colorado.

    However, the party to whom Bryant owed the most was not his vast fanbase, but rather his wife, Vanessa.

    This explains Bryant's tattoo on his right arm: a crown featured above his wife's name, with two angel wings underneath accompanying a Psalm inscription.

    The ink, which Bryant got after the Colorado incident, shows an obvious attempt at declaring his marital devotion. Still, this decision, combined with the one that landed Vanessa Bryant a $4 million ring, reeks a bit of desperation. Sure, the ring was supposedly commissioned two weeks before Bryant was arrested, but the timing still seems fishy.

    For the record, Bryant also has his daughter's name tattooed on his left arm.

4. Derek Fisher

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    Tattoos displaying Chinese lettering have been popular amongst some of the world's biggest celebrities (and Nicki Minaj), so Derek Fisher gets a few points docked for following a trend rather than expressing more creativity in his body art.

    Still, the message depicted in the ink etched into his right forearm—"To be faithful in heart, mind and spirit"—seems sincere for the veteran Los Angeles Lakers point guard.

    Fisher is one of the most well-respected players in the league, a proven champion with five rings and a loving father who remained close to his ailing daughter.  

    He is also the president of the NBA's Players Association, meaning he should be remaining especially faithful to his mind as the lockout continues to extend.

3. Lamar Odom

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    One of Lamar Odom's tattoos may make you sick, while the other is rather heart-warming.

    First, the gag-worthy art. The Los Angeles Lakers power forward exchanged initials with his wife, Khloe Kardashian, on the back of their hands.

    Hopefully, the "KO" inked on Lamar Odom's hands won't serve as an ominous omen.

    A few years before he even met his wife, however, Odom used body art to express a most painful grief. After his son passed away tragically at the age of six months, Odom got a tattoo depicting young Jayden's face on the left side of his chest. 

    All joking aside (regarding the first tattoo), both of these ink jobs demonstrate Odom's love for two of the most important people in his life.

2. Luke Walton

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    Luke Walton played less than 10 minutes per game each of the past two seasons, so if he's not going to get much attention for what he does on the court, we may as well talk about his body accessories.

    Walton has an interesting tattoo on his upper right arm. It depicts four dancing skeletons in a circle, each with a basketball.

    The four skeletons represent Walton and his three brothers, but the image is also believed to pay homage to the Grateful Dead.

    Combining family and rock music will get you high on this list, but it's not quite worthy of the No. 1 spot.

1. Ron Artest

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    Ron Artest has plenty of baggage; no one is going to dispute that. But he has also done just as much to repair his once tarnished image.

    But while his community service and name change are widely acknowledged, there is another sign of his softer side that is not quiet as apparent.

    On Artest's bicep is the name of his sister. Quanisha Artest passed away as an infant. She was buried with one of Ron's basketball trophies.

    The tattoo serves as a constant reminder for Artest of someone he loved dearly, and it shows fans and critics alike that the enigmatic Los Angeles Lakers forward isn't always so hard to read.