25 Worst Tattoos in NBA History

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2011

25 Worst Tattoos in NBA History

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    In a league dominated by young millionaires, it is not surprising that tattoos have become prevalent among NBA athletes.

    Tattoos are becoming increasingly popular in the NBA, as they are considered fashionable and a way for one to express himself. At what point, though, does it become overkill?

    Better yet, at what point are we rendered speechless, wishing that an athlete had opted not to express himself?

    Whether you are for or against tattoos is irrelevant; donning ink has become so popular that we must accept its existence.

    That being said, over the course of league history, there are many players who could have benefited from a short and sweet piece of advice: Think before you ink.

Derrick Rose

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    Derrick Rose may be the league's reigning MVP, but even he is not immune from making bad life decisions, as we can see here with his "Poohdini" tattoo.

    The story behind the idea is quite genuine, but the portrait of the wizard—or whatever he is supposed to be—on his shoulder is downright creepy.

    There had to be a million other directions he could have taken this idea. Any concept other than this one probably would have been good enough.

Deron Williams

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    The fact of the matter is that a panther tattoo is something we probably could have gotten on board with or, at the very least, overlooked.

    However, with Deron Williams' tattoo, this just isn't the case.

    From a distance, the panther looks more like a puddle of tar, and up close, it looks like an evolved rat. Perhaps Williams was anticipating an eventual move to New York, where the rat population is disturbingly high.

    Why does that matter? Not sure—just attempting to find a reason behind this nightmare of a tattoo.

Mike Bibby

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    While we have to respect the theme of family that Mike Bibby tries to convey here, portraying family figures as floating zombies was not the way to go.

    As far as tattoos go, human portraits are the most difficult to execute. There are those who can do a great job, but Bibby's tattoo artist is not one of them.

    It's a shame too; Bibby's heart seemed to be in the right place. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for his back with regard to the tattooing shop he walked into.

Jason Williams

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    Like many others to follow, Jason Williams gives us more than one to work with, but let's focus on his biggest offense.

    The "Whit Eboy" joke has been overplayed, so we will just acknowledge Williams' attempt to display the sheerly obvious on his knuckles, as if there was some doubt surrounding the color of his skin.

    This tattoo is neither cool nor deep; rather, it's just plain misguided. If he was going to do something like this, a better phrase would have been "I Jack Up Way Too Many Threes."

    Oh wait, he's out of knuckles. I guess this was the obvious choice then.

Reggie Miller

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    Reggie Miller torched teams with his timely shooting, but had he played without a shirt on, he would have tortured them with this oddly placed and shaped work of non-art.

    At first glance, it looks like an unfortunate stomach hair trend. Once you realize it was something he paid to have put on him, it becomes even more unfortunate.

    Perhaps it was his way of taking the emphasis off his ears.

Kenyon Martin

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    Kenyon Martin recently covered this travesty of a tattoo, but that still doesn't change the fact that he decided to put it on his body in the first place.

    These lips were for his girlfriend at the time, which would seem to be a safer bet than getting her actual name tattooed on him.

    But after seeing the lips and then seeing what he turned them into, I'm not exactly sure that I agree anymore.

Marquis Daniels

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    Tattoos may have become a trend in the NBA, but luckily, tattoos of suicidal cartoons never caught on.

    What statement is Marquis Daniels attempting to make here? That he's an unstoppable moron?

    Mission accomplished.

Andrei Kirilenko

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    For Andrei Kirilenko to permanently place a character from the computer game World of Warcraft on his back, it's safe to say he engages in it quite often.

    While I'm no tattoo expert, the time he spent on the chair getting this done combined with the time he wastes playing the game may have been more than enough time for him to regain some of the on-court prowess he seems to have lost.

    Just saying.

Carmelo Anthony

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    Carmelo Anthony's "WB" tattoo is not only unappealing to the eyes, but it's also incredibly confusing.

    When the small forward was traded to the Knicks, he was said to be "coming home," but if this design does, in fact, stand for "West Baltimore" like we are to believe, then where do his true loyalties lie?

    Regardless, this piece of ink will always stand for "Warner Bros." in the public eye.

    Sorry, 'Melo.

Stephon Marbury

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    Long before this unwarranted tattoo placement, we knew that Stephon Marbury was committed to his brand, but this design was extreme even for him.

    If you look at it long enough, it emulates an incomplete star, which is perhaps fitting because the point guard's career was incomplete at best.

Cherokee Parks

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    Most would not discredit an athlete attempting to exhibit patriotism, but is that really what Cherokee Parks is doing here?

    An American flag would have sufficed if that was his true intent. Even a plain Statue of Liberty may have done the trick, but an angry-faced one?

    Apparently, in Parks' eyes nothing says "I love my country" like getting angry. I'm not sure how many others agree with him.

J.R. Smith

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    The tattoos on J.R. Smith's neck look like the the inside of a child's coloring book.

    Since he plays professional basketball, obviously the only logical tattoo idea was to place "SWISH" on his neck where no one can see it when his head is level. That must be why he shoots his free throws with his head tilted back, though.

    If you look hard enough, it looks like his goatee is a product of some more tattoo scribble.

Dennis Rodman

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    When it comes to Dennis Rodman, we have an array of tattoos to choose from in terms of bad ones.

    I'm inclined to go with the cross-resembling piece of art that he has stretching from his stomach down to his groin as his worst one.

    Some who get tattoos consisting of a cross are simply expressing their faith. If this is the case with Rodman, I'm inclined to say that the miniature cross on his right arm would have sufficed.

Michael Beasley

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    For some reason, while looking at this tattoo, I cannot shake the thought of it reading "Supercool Beans" instead of "Beas."

    That being said, it's the pair of eyeglasses that really throws us for a loop. What exactly is their purpose amidst this piece of ink?

    For Beasley, this tattoo could have arguably been considered tasteful. However, that went out the window with the inclusion of the glasses before he even put the self-motivating moniker on top.

Stephen Jackson

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    Stephen Jackson has always danced to the beat of his own drum, but tattooing a pair of praying hands holding a gun is mind-blowing even for him.

    Even if we overlook the overall design and the placement of this horrid piece, why exactly did he feel the need to flash reporters so they could see it?

    That's an unveiling the world could have done without.

Allen Iverson

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    Allen Iverson does have a "Money Bagz" atrocity on his hand, but the "Virginia Slim" neck tattoo is arguably less flattering.

    Why Iverson felt the need to put this on his body is beyond our logic. Was he perhaps paid to endorse the cigarette?

    While the answer is more than definitely no, such an occurrence would have made it at least mildly justifiable.

Luke Walton

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    Luke Walton's Grateful Dead tattoo is an artistic disaster.

    Regardless of what the tattoo truly represents, more detail should have at least been added to this piece, which at first glance looks like a few stick figurines marching aimlessly.

    Walton is not known for his prowess on the court, and this tattoo means he'll never be known for it off the court either.

Eddy Curry

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    There are so many things wrong with Eddy Curry's "Bruised Never Broken" tattoo that it's not even funny.

    Well, maybe it's still a little funny.

    Based on Curry's career, the proclamation at the top of his chest must not pertain to him. He spent most of his time on the bench always bruised, and not only are his body and career broken, but so is his wallet.

    His out-of-shape stature isn't helping his case either.

Gilbert Arenas

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    One has to wonder what made Gilbert Arenas think it would be a good idea to get a tiger tattooed on his entire stomach.

    As noble as the "Think Ink, Not Mink" campaigns are, they should pride themselves on not recognizing tattoos that look as if they were done by a tattoo artist working under the influence. Its crude placement on Arenas leaves you barely able to discern what it is.

    It's hard to imagine him not regretting this one 10 years down the road.

Kobe Bryant

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    We all understand Kobe Bryant had to make up for his unfaithfulness to his wife somehow, but he couldn't think of any other way?

    Better yet, couldn't he have picked a better design? His sorry excuse for a crown looks more like a caterpillar with wings.

    The only thing Bryant seems to have gotten right with this tattoo is the name, but I'm not even sure Vanessa is proud to have it associated with this shrewd piece of work.

Stromile Swift

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    Let's ignore the fact that the basketball drawn here is growing things, and let's focus on the crude attempt to portray a religious figure, who coincidentally also looks like he is growing things.

    Intertwining faith and basketball is totally okay.

    But not when you do it like this.

Marcin Gortat

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    While Marcin Gortat impressed us with his play after being traded to Phoenix, this attempt at tattooing Michael Jordan on his leg did anything but.

    Here I was thinking that Jordan was lean and mean, not fresh off a recent donut binge.

    This tattoo looks more like Eddy Curry than it does His Airness.

Tim Duncan

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    Tim Duncan is the anchor of responsibility, minus the one day he had this creepy-looking jester/wizard/clown/joker permanently embedded onto his skin.

    It is unclear why Duncan would want such a hideous design on him; perhaps it was an attempt to let his wild side breathe a bit.

    Next time he gets such an urge, I'd advise him to find another outlet.

DeShawn Stevenson

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    DeShawn Stevenson gives us plenty to work with here.

    What's worse, the crack tattoo on his forehead or the backwards P/questionable gang symbol near his left eye?

    While both are horrific, neither are the worst tattoo he has. That award goes to the Abraham Lincoln portrait he has right in the middle of his neck. 

    Stevenson has never been a model citizen or NBA athlete, and the idiotic pieces of ink, specifically this one, ensure he'll never be a tattoo model either.

Chris Andersen

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    It's hard to choose just one of the atrocities on Chris Andersen's body, but the "Free Bird" tattoo across his neck makes a good case for itself.

    That being said, we have to take into consideration that the repeated genocide of color that runs rampant throughout his entire body makes him look like a regurgitation of Play-Doh.

    One thing Andersen has going for him, though, is that he can go for a run in the dark without an orange safety vest. His skin tone is now blinding enough.

    Here's to sporting more color than a clown at a circus.


    You can follow Dan Favale on Twitter here @Dan_Favale.