• Pop Culture

NBA Superstars and Their Conversation-Starting Tattoos

Jul 28, 2022
By Elaine Calderon

4 min read

AB_NBA Superstars and Their Conversation-Starting Tattoos

Did you know that 70% of NBA players are covered with tattoos nowadays?

They say that tattoos make a man; but for these NBA athletes, tattoos make them superstars!

A trend that can be traced back to Dennis Rodman and Allen Iverson, tattoos have become a popular way for NBA players to express themselves on and off the court.

From photo-realistic portraits to cartoon characters, family members’ names to bible verses, and motivational inscriptions, you’ve probably seen it all when you enjoyed a superstar-level streaming with your NBA League Pass subscription through PLDT Home.

If you’re curious about some of the most tattooed NBA superstars, here’s a look at some of the players, their ink, and the stories behind them!

Kevin Durant

One of Kevin Durant’s most notable tattoos is the large piece on his chest—a collection of different tattoos, including a dove, a rose, his grandmother’s name Barbara, and his mother’s name Wanda. Durant revealed that he was incredibly close to his grandmother, especially when his parents divorced when he was 13 years old.

The Brooklyn Nets' power forward and small forward also has Maryland etched on his back, in reference to his hometown. Along with this is an angel holding a basketball and two hands symbolizing the numbers 3 and 5 that make up his former jersey number 35.

LeBron James

There’s no telling just how many tattoos Lebron James has on his body, but a recurring theme among his many tattoos remains to be initials, names, and phrases.

James has a huge “Chosen 1” tattoo that occupies his back and a small “Gifted Child” on his chest. On both his arms, he wears the quote, “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” You can also read the names Gloria and Bryce Maximus on his arms. (He also has a portrait of his son Lebron Jr. on his left forearm.) The initials L and J can also be found on his triceps, KJ1 on his right hand, and “Family” and “Loyalty” on either side of his abs.

Jordan Clarkson

How can we forget about kabayan Jordan Clarkson? While he didn’t have any ink when he started his career in the league, he quickly went from 0 to 100 as he now sports tattoos all over.

In an interview with Closeup360, the shooting guard revealed that he’s always wanted body art that represented “family, loss, and new beginnings.” That’s why among the images you’ll find tattooed on him include homages to his daughter, his parents, his late best friend Cameron Moore, and former LA Lakers captain, the late Kobe Bryant. He also has a tattoo of his younger self in a Superman costume.

Kyle Kuzma

Inspired by his childhood favorites Allen “The Answer” Iverson and Chris “Birdman” Anderson, Kyle Kuzma also has an extensive collection of tattoos.

The Washington Wizards forward revealed to GQ Sports that his first tattoo at 18 is the lion on his left shoulder, representing his zodiac sign Leo, which also transitions into a basketball. Some of the art close to his heart also include his mother’s green eye, an homage to his hometown, Flint, Michigan, and Monopoly’s Rich Uncle Pennybags, inspired by his favorite childhood board game. Kuzma has names of his sister and brother inked on his body, as well as an angel that represents his late grandfather.

Lonzo Ball

Last but not least on this list, Chicago Bulls’ Lonzo Ball is another one of many professional ballers who wears his ink on his sleeves. (Pun intended!)

He has a montage of influential people in black history inked on his left sleeve, including Malcolm X, Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and Jackie Robinson.

He also has “Motivated by Jesus, Dedicated to the Game” written on his left hand and “Born to Ball Because of Him” on his right. Other scripts on his body include “Fear God” and Samuel L. Jackson’s bible verse from Pulp Fiction.

While it’s still the off-season, you can continue enjoying all the NBA action with a subscription to NBA League Pass via PLDT Home. Learn more about it here!


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Elaine Calderon

Elaine is the managing editor of Next Upgrade, working closely with the rest of the editorial team to create content and meet deadlines. She is a writer and editor with 10+ years of experience who is passionate about achieving work-life balance, shopping for the best deals online, and binge-streaming her favorite K-Dramas.