Published on March 24th 2010 by Leon Shepherd

Ten years ago, Dennis Rodman was the first player in the NBA to visibly display numerous tattoos over the majority of his body. At that time, many people thought of him as strange, weird, and/or a freak. Today, over 70% of the players in the NBA have tattoos. There are some players with only a couple of tattoos, while there are several players that have over 20 tattoos. In determining which players would make this list, I decided to go with quality opposed to quantity. In other words, instead of recognizing the players with the most tattoos, I decided to recognize the players whose tattoos showed creativity, originality and made a statement. So, without further ado, here’s my Top 10 list of Black Tattooed NBA Players.


 10. Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic

                                                         ”ALL EYES ON ME”



9. Mike Bibby, Atlanta Hawks


                                                            Basketball & hoop.



8. Deron Williams, Utah Jazz


Texas native, D Will. (Deron Williams)






7. Shaquille O’Neal, Cleveland Cavaliers


Diesel, and Superman - Man of Steel.


 6. Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz


Carlos Boozer: “I’m from Alaska, so the top of my shoulder is the Alaskan Mountains and under that is the skyline of Juneau, where I’m from. Then there’s a picture of me, and under that it says “God’s Will.” The message is, that even though I came from a small town, God had a plan for me, and I will follow that plan.”







 5. Jordan Farmar, Los Angeles Lakers



Farmar’s  tattoo, says: “Just the two of us.” Farmar was 19 when he got the tattoo and sister, was 11.  ”She’s my everything,” Farmar said. “My mom had told me that, no matter what I do in life or how successful I am, she wanted me to promise to take care of my sister.”



 4. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers


  “CHOSEN 1″.  LeBron had this done after Sports Illustrated gave him the title on one of it’s covers, while he was still in High School.



3. Andre Brown, Memphis Grizzlies

Tattoo is from the old testament, Psalms 27: Verses 1 & 2.




2. Marquis Daniels, Boston Celtics


I think it’s quite obvious that Marquis is a native of Florida.




1.Kenyon Martin, Denver Nuggets



                                               “I shall fear no man but God.”

Sports | Comments (18)

18 Responses to “Top 10 Tattooed NBA Players”

  1. Sulaiman Dave Bola-Babs Says:

    Al Eyes on Me & Chosen 1 are great but I can never be caught dead with this so-called celebrity eccentricity. What about its side effect health-wise?

  2. Shack Says:

    Comment-1 is This fad (tattoos)has been out of control for some time!

    Comment-2 Thanks for the (light exposed) shot of S.O’neal – is the 1st time I’ve been able to read the crap!

  3. Joi :-) Says:

    Nice article Leon! :-) I like tattoo’s. I think tattoo’s are beautiful.

  4. Leon Says:

    Thanks Joi!

  5. Leon Says:

    I don’t know if there are any side effects or not, Sulaiman.

  6. Shack Says:

    I am biased since I equate tattoos with doo-doo rags, flip flops, saggy pants, wife beaters, grills and bad teeth/poor oral hygiene making those who dress in this fashion look like pirates!

    No Class

    Joi – Do you like the tattoos on these guys as well as those worn by NBA players?

  7. Lenora Dorsey Says:

    Very interesting tattoos…They are all extreme! I don’t think that people realize sometimes why they go to the extreme with these tattoos, they will be 50, 60, 70+ with these things on their body and they will not look the same as they age.

  8. Leon Says:

    Good point, Lenora.

  9. Joi :-) Says:

    :-) Shack, here u go…. I love (some) tatt’s. I think they are beautiful. I have 13. Yes, 13! I plan on getting more. ALL OF MY TATTOO’S ARE IN PLACES THAT THEY WOULD ONLY BE SEEN IF I WANT THEM TO BE SEEN!!!! ( I have to keep my goody two shoes image). (LOL). :-) When evaluating whether or not I “like” a tatt, I look at a few things. Originality, detail, color, and “message”. I love love love inspirational messages. They serve as a “focal point”. And altho others may see them, in reality, they are just for the one who tatts themselves. People get tatt’s for different reasons. Some are lovers of “ink”. Other’s get them because, as crazy as it sounds, tatt’s are “power over the flesh”. Cuz they hurt like heck!!! :-) Of my 13 tatt’s, I have gotten one because my feelings were hurt. I NEEDED to tatt myself to “release” what needed to be released. (and believe it or not, it DOES release). I also have 3 tatt’s of things that I have experienced. i.e., I went to Africa in Dec., and was part of a “beauty from ashes”(buhle lobuphuma emlotseni)ceremony. (we washed the ladies feet). IT WAS SOOOO BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING!!!! After getting home from Africa, I was sooo emotionally high (& changed), that I got Buhle Lobuphuma Emlosteni along the inside of my foot. Its beautiful!!!! Its meaningful. Its just for me! When I look at it, or think of it, I smile first, remembering my journey thru Africa. Then I send up thoughts, prayers, love and light to my fam., in Swazi (Africa). Each tatt has its own meaning. I have also gotten a few tatt’s because my girls and I were together, we love each other, and that’s something that we wanted to share together. We can look back and say, “that’s where I was on my journey when I got that”. U asked if I liked tatts by those fella’s as well as other players? Gotta run,be back later to finish my explaination…. Hope that’s a good start. At the end of my explanation, u will at least understand individuals that get tatt’s. :-) Altho, at the end, they may still not be for u. :-)

  10. Shack Says:

    Ms. Joi – Thanks for the note. Believe it or not, I identify with what you’ve stated thus far and there’s no need for additional justification.

    I clearly understand and empathize with individual expression – I JUST DON”T WANT OUR YOUNG BROTHERS GOING AROUND LOOKING LIKE LOSERS or Pirates as I alluded to previously. Tattoos are fine as long as the individual exhibits and/or has CLASS!!!

  11. Joi Says:

    Amen Shack! :-) I TOTALLY understand what u meant when u said that young men will like losers or pirates. And U ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!! I think that those who do get them need to be mindful of “where” they place them. As well as the “message” that is being sent. Not to mention, wherever u put ink will be inked forever! CHOOSE WISELY! I hear ya Shack! :-) b.t.w., my favorite’s were Kenyon Martin’s (good message, plus nice detailing), Carlos Boozer’s (I was able to “see” the picture, plus the message was awesome). I also liked Andre Brown’s. He spent no time getting straight to the point! My least favorite one’s were Shaq’s and Mr. Florida. Have a great day! :-)

  12. Joi Says:

    Leon, I just posted something… It says “my comment is awaiting moderation”. What’s that?

    Oh, and Sulaiman, I am not aware of any side affects. There are some things that must be considered before getting a tattoo. Or even choosing the place where u get your tatt from. That can determine whether or not there are any side affects. CLEANLINESS!!! Make sure that it is a sterile environment. The person getting the tatt should SEE ALL the equipment being opened. If a person goes to a place and the equipment is already “set up” and or opened, DO NOT GET A TATT FROM THAT PLACE!!! Don’t bother asking “is this needle new?” If u have to ask… Leave! The needles need to be BRAND NEW! Straight out of the surgical plastic wrapping that they come in. Do not share needles. The tattoo artist, should wear gloves. All of the equipment should be sitting on top of surgical paper. Also, they use these little red caps to put the ink in, SEE HIM FILL UP THE CAPS. Make sure that the caps are brand new, and that the ink is brand new as well. If those things are in order, u will be all good. Now, tatt’s do fade, therefore a person may have to get them retouched in 10 years or so. Outside of making sure that your supplies are brand new, and the environment sterile, u will be all good. However, if a person keloids, they may want to do some research on that, I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT THAT! :-)

  13. Leon Says:

    Hey Joi!
    Awating moderation means that I have to approve the comment before it is posted. This is to make sure that there is no offensive language in the comments, nor anything else that might be offensive.

  14. Joi Says:

    Leon, thanks for the explanation. :-)

  15. Karen Says:

    I found some of them very interesting,
    I like tatoo’s but some are just too large for me
    some are kind of strange but I guess that’s what it is all about everyone has there own personal taste some to the extreme.

  16. Straaw Says:

    This whole tatoo phenomenon is crazy. Shout outs to Rod Strickland and Latrell Sprewell who played in the tatoo era and didn’t get any.(At least not any visible ones.) And to KoBe Bryant before summer of 2003. John Salley said Adrian Dantley was the first one he saw with one when they were Piston teammates. His wasn’t visible either. Michael Jordan ain’t with that sensationalistic stuff either.

  17. Me!!! Says:

    No Iverson?

  18. Leon Says:

    Me, Iverson definitely deserves top 10 consideration.