The NBA's 50 Worst Tattoos
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30. LeBron James' "Chosen 1" Tattoo
As crummy as the tattoo is, the slogan is actually kind of fitting. Not because LeBron is some sort of Golden Child, but because he has chosen one of the worst tattoos in the NBA. You see how bad that joke was? It still came significantly closer to being funny than this tattoo does to being decent. King James may be in a two-man race to be recognised as the world's premier baller, but until he has an NBA championship on his résumé he should keep this one covered.
When Anderson Varejão, who patterned his look after a pubescent Sideshow Bob, clowns your tattoo, it's time to take a laser to that sumbitch. The tattoo, that is, not Anderson Varejão. Maybe LBJ could borrow the permanent marker and have someone write a discreet "st in the 2003 draft" after this tat to make it a touch more factual.
29. JR Smith's "Death before Dishonor" Tattoo
We've seen some sophomoric efforts in this list already, but this is the first tat that looks as if it was abandoned halfway through. Can I get some colour to fill that out? A little shading perhaps? Anything? The monochrome outline of a scroll looks like a turkey twizzler, and the font would look more at home on the MySpace page of a twelve-year-old Twilight fan.
28. Deron Williams' Snake Tattoo
Let's play a little game. You can join in at home. All you have to do is take the thumb of your left hand and place it over the head of the snake. Now take the thumb of your right hand and place it over the tip of the snake's tail. What do you see? If you answered "a giant turd" or a synonym thereof, you understand fully why this tattoo needs to be on this list. This is another of D-Will's cover-up jobs, this time to obscure the "No Guts" tattoo paired with the "No Glory" tattoo on his other triceps. Here's hoping he didn't forget to cover the other half.
27. Allen Iverson's Soldier Tattoo
Someone caught hold of AI and pressed him on the story behind this part of his expansive tattoo collection. Here's what the possibly-retired guard had to say about it:
"I feel throughout my live it has been a battle, and I have survived many obstacles like a real soldier".
It's a bit of a stretch, but I see where's he going with it. That, however, would only explain a soldier tattoo. What it does not explain is a tattoo of a skull with burning eyes wearing a camouflage bucket hat. The word "SOLDIER" underneath is absolutely necessary here. It's no wonder this is the arm he wears the shooting sleeve on.
26. Matt Barnes' "Believe" Tattoo
Even with the addition of subtle colouring that improved this tattoo marginally, the sunburst background still makes it look like a logo that belongs on a box of washing powder. The praying hands have become a standard NBA tattoo, but Barnes must have missed the memo that states that the shoulder is the standard placement for such a design. In this case, it looks as if someone is trying to scare him by creeping up on him and clapping loudly in his ear.
25. Mike Bibby's Basketball and Hoop Tattoo
Can you see the picture below? 'Nuff said. Sadly, Mike Bibby has far worse tattoos than this one. Far worse.
24. Reggie Miller's Belly Button Tattoo
Please read the line above this one again. That's right: Reggie Miller's Belly Button Tattoo. It's an awful idea, and one that's not even particularly well executed. Seriously, can you tell what on earth it's supposed to be? I can vaguely make out some sort of star design if I cross my eyes and tilt my head at a particular angle, but I just can't get beyond the fact that it looks like a hideous overabundance of hair leaking out of Reggie's navel.
23. Stephon Marbury's Phone Book on his Neck
At this point I imagine you're wondering why I'm not talking about Marbury's Starbury head tattoo. Call me crazy, but I don't think it looks as ridiculous as most make out. It's a clean, inoffensive design, and when you're as notoriously nutty as Steph is, a little ink on your dome isn't going to do that much to dent your rep. The seemingly random assortment of names and numbers on the left side of his neck, however, is a real stinker. I'm sure there's some significance to the alphanumeric string that sits just below his ear, but to me it looks as if he needed to take down some details over the phone and only had a tattoo needle handy.
22. Tim Duncan's Jester Tattoo
Really, Timmy? I know the Big Fundamental had this before he'd made his name as the most efficient PF in league history, but he must have known he was at least going to be a decent player. Duncan might be the only person on the planet with this tattoo who has a steady job and a full set of teeth. As you'll soon learn, though, this isn't even Timothy's most embarrassing piece of body art.
21. Marquis Daniels' "Only the Strong Survive" Tattoo
What can I say about this tattoo that hasn't been said about 2Ball? It's a horrible idea that someone should have nixed before it was ever allowed to come to fruition. Still, what can you expect from a man who decided to order a pendant of his own head made of diamonds? Marquis may be a top-level talent when it comes to basketball, but a Rhodes Scholar he is not. This tattoo is only saved from the top ten because the graphic and lettering are actually fairly well done.
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