The NBA's Worst Tattoos: 50-41
[For the record, the list is now finished, and you can find the whole thing here: The NBA's 50 Worst Tattoos.]
You wouldn't believe the number of inky abominations etched into the pelts of pro ballers. I'd originally planned a simple list of the league's ten worst tats, but when my dishonourable mention section hit double digits I realised I'd need to expand the scope of the project a little. Even when I elongated the list to twenty-five terrible tattoos, I still found that I had to exclude some real atrocities. In the end it took a full fifty spots to showcase the shittiest skin art in the L, and we'll be releasing those ten at a time over the course of the next week.
The first segment in our series covering the NBA's fifty worst tattoos follows. You can find larger versions of the images below by clicking here, or you can check out our complete gallery of NBA tattoos, including some that aren't eye-burningly bad.
The NBA's Worst Tattoos: 50-41
50. Derrick Rose's Poohdini Tattoo
Oh, the things that are wrong with this tattoo. While it at least looks like a professional job, the real issue here is not the artwork but Derrick Rose's decision to adorn his arm with a frigging wizard beneath a nickname that gives a nod to a man who spent half his life discrediting nuts who claimed to have magical powers. Throw in the fact that the warlock looks like a half-starved Wilford Brimley and this is clearly a poor decision. It's a shame, too, because the "Sweet Home Chicago" design a little further down the same arm isn't half bad.
49. Deron Williams' Panther Tattoo
D-Will isn't the only NBA player with a panther tattoo (among others, Jason Williams and Allen Iverson sport their own versions), but he is the only one whose big cat is clawing at his arm. Instead of having the appearance of a vicious killer, however, the kitty in Deron's biceps looks like an awkward housecat desperately trying to gain traction as its owner attempts to wash the floundering feline in the tub. It's also worth noting that for no particular reason the tail appears to originate three-quarters of the way up the panther's spine.
Update: It turns out that I'm a little behind the times here. As our good friend Basketball John of SLC Dunk pointed out, Deron has slapped another panther right on top of the old one. Thanks also to commenter MC Welk for pointing us in the direction of the new tattoo. It's a very minor upgrade on the original, but I think it still belongs somewhere around this spot on the list.
48. OJ Mayo's "Sacrifice" and "Dedication" Tattoos
I know the abstract noun is quickly becoming a popular tattoo (see Mike Miller's similar ink), but all you really sacrificed here, OJ, was the inside of your biceps. The florid script and curious red accents only serve to draw attention to the sort of tattoo you wouldn't expect to see on the body of a dude who scored in the 95th percentile on his ACT.
47. Andre Brown's Psalm 27 Tattoo
What would you think if you were to reach this point in the article to see that I'd written fifteen paragraphs about a single tattoo? It would be overkill, right? Well, it's the same deal here. Too many words, Andre. I understand that you're a fan of this particular passage, but I'm sure you could have found a snappier way to express that. Would a simple "Psalm 27" on your leg not have done the trick? Instead you've got half the Old Testament making the trip up and down the court or, more commonly, languishing inside your warm-ups. Oh, and this isn't even close to being Andre Brown's worst tattoo. He'll be making an appearance a little later in the list that blows this one out of the water.
46. Brad Miller's And 1 Tattoo
Is there anyone who embodies the And 1 philosophy less than Brad Miller? We're talking about a flat-footed midrange jump-shooter who chews tobacco in the locker room here. The awkward inclusion of his initials further sullies the already outdated logo that is, amazingly, the least embarrassing tattoo on his person.
Lest you think that was Brad's most misguided attempt at looking gully, I remind you of the cornrows incident. Never again, Brad.
45. Allen Iverson's "Money Bagz" Tattoo
Call it a personal prejudice, but I hate seeing words intentionally misspelled, especially when they're being committed to your skin indefinitely. We've also got a case of painful redundancy here: Not only does the phrase "Money Bagz" cover the majority of the back of Iverson's hand, but there's a stack of cash and a giant dollar bill to stamp down the point that Allen Iverson really is fabulously rich. It's got to get a little old for AI every time he sees his left hand. Checking the time: Money Bagz. Eating a sandwich: Money Bagz. Wiping your booty: Money Bagz. It's not tough to see why he has this and not a "Brain Bagz" tat instead.
44. Chris Andersen's Wings Tattoo
Let's ignore the fact that the wings sit amidst a sea of colour that brings to mind a packet of crayons left on a radiator. Let's ignore the fact that the plumage seems to suggest that Andersen's wings are on backwards. Let's instead focus on the fact that they emanate from somewhere within the Birdman's vest like a magnificent excess of armpit hair. If nothing else about this tattoo offends you, that fact alone should justify its inclusion on the list.
43. Tracy McGrady's Barbed Wire Tattoo
Tracy McGrady is a 6'8" swingman with seven All-Star Game appearances under his belt. Pamela Anderson is a pair of breast implants with a mid-sized Canadian lady attached. So what the dickens do the two have in common? A god-awful tattoo is what. At least Pammy can claim she got the ink as a promotional gimmick for her movie Barb Wire. What's Tracy's excuse? Why a prep-to-pro baller should have a tattoo more commonly seen on former frat boys now in their mid-thirties, I'll never know.
42. Chauncey Billups' "King of the Hill" Tattoo
What was Chauncey thinking? I understand that some tattoos just don't come out as well as they should, but this one can't have been anything less than pug fugly on paper either. A crown? A cane? A character bearing no resemblance to Billups wearing what appears to be a baggy wifebeater with a giant "4" written in magic marker? Somebody needs to organise an intervention or, failing that, bring some rope and a laser and deal with the situation.
41. Carmelo Anthony's "WB" Tattoo
Before you ask, the "WB" stands for "West Baltimore", a reference to Carmelo's hometown*. Now on to the obvious: Why not go for a completely different design? In choosing the Warner Bros. logo, you're guaranteeing that a significant proportion of the people that see the tat immediately think of a tap-dancing frog. At 6'8" and with a square foot of skin on your shoulder, why not just spell out the whole name and avoid confusion?
*As a Brooklyn resident, I'm a little hurt that 'Melo won't claim the borough of his birth. He spent the first eight years of his life in the Red Hook Houses and still speaks with a pronounced New York accent, yet he never mentions anything other than Baltimore when discussing his early years. I'm not making a point there. I'm just sore.
So, what do you think of the ten tattoos above? Which permanent errors are you hoping to see in the next four parts of the list? Are there any NBA tattoos that don't belong here? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below, and check back tomorrow for tattoos 40-31.