The NBA season has had its fair share of moments that have us in awe, and has also had its moments where we have cringed and wanted to turn away. There have been the highs such as Giannis Antetokounmpo coming into his own as an NBA star and Kyrie Irving thriving as the leader of his own team in the Boston Celtics. There have also been teams in the NBA seeming to take a step forward such as the Philadelphia 76ers, the Detroit Pistons, and the Indiana Pacers. But with the good always comes the bad. Gordon Hayward's leg injury was cringeworthy as it looked like his leg was going unnaturally in the complete other direction. Isaiah Thomas continues to state his frustration with the Boston Celtics organization after his unexpected trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers. With all of the good and the bad that has happened in the NBA this season, one thing some of these players will never be able to change are the tattoos they get on their bodies.
Some professional athletes love to go to the tattoo parlors and ink themselves up. Some of them even get larger ones on their chest, stomach, and half/full sleeves on their arms and legs too. While some tattoo ideas are good and meaningful, some are also very bad and meaningless. This list takes a look at the good, the bad, and the flat out horrible. Let's take a look at 10 of the most shameful tattoos in the NBA and 5 of the best.
15 Shameful: Michael Beasley "Supercool Beas"
The first shameful tattoo goes to former number two overall pick Michael Beasley. Before people speculate, we are not talking about the "God's son" wings tattoo because that one is actually pretty good. We are talking about the one above that says "Super Cool Beas". There is such as thing as having confidence in yourself, but this is just next level.
Beasley was the second pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat after going one year to Kansas State University. Beasley hasn't really panned out for being a number two overall pick. Right now, he is trying to regain his form in New York playing for the Knicks. He had one big game against the Boston Celtics when he went for 32, so maybe he thought the tattoo was justified because of it. But the uneven lettering and fact that his career has been pretty much a bust makes this tattoo more shameful than it should be.
14 Shameful: J.R. Smith Whole Body
Some guys love to be all tattooed up from top to bottom. Sometimes, they will even get tattoos just for the sake of having tattoos. That seems to be the case for J.R. Smith in our next shameful tattoo candidacy. We got a glimpse of all of his tattoos when he was shirtless throughout the whole 2016 Cavaliers NBA Finals parade. The thing to wonder with Smith is why he felt the need to get so many different tattoos.
One tattoo that stands out is the red colored in New York Yankees tattoo on his neck. That is one that makes people scratch their heads. Why wouldn't J.R. Smith just get Yankees colors if he is getting a Yankees tattoo> Also, not really sure what is going on with all of the ink on his arms? Is it supposed to stand for something bigger than we thought? Is it supposed to represent something from his past? All we can say is that the body is sacred, and J.R. Smith doesn't mind having his whole body covered in tats right now. Good luck to him when hes in his 50s and 60s.
13 Best: Malik Monk "The WOODZ"
One thing some athletes try to do is remember exactly where they came from. A lot of them came from pretty much having nothing to making millions of dollars almost over night. That is no different for Charlotte Hornets rookie guard Malik Monk. Monk was selected in the first round with the 11th pick. He even got a tattoo to remind himself how far he has come.
"The WOODZ" is his neighbourhood in Arkansas that he reminds himself of every day of who made him into the young man he is today. It is always nice to see athletes give a shout-out to their hometown. Maybe if he cashes in on a big contract someday, he will donate money back to "The WOODZ". But for right now while he is finding his way in the NBA, the tattoo idea will do, considering it is stylish and gives love to everyone who grew up in that area.
12 Shameful: Carmelo Anthony "Flaming Basketball"
In the 2003 draft, there were two big names that were destined to go off of the board first: LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. James went first to Cleveland, and in a bit of a surprise to all, Anthony went third to the Denver Nuggets. During his days in Denver, he decided to get a little ink with his multi-million dollar contract that he earned. He even rocked the tattoo in New York with the Knicks and now does the same thing for the Oklahoma City Thunder. As good as his scoring abilities always have been, the tattoo of the flaming basketball on his right arm is not as good.
Anthony makes million of dollars. So you think he would have taken the time to actually put in the work necessary to make the tattoo cool. If the flames were colored, it definitely would have been better to add for the dramatic effect of the basketball being on fire. Maybe the tattoo is supposed to depict how hot Anthony can get when he gets going scoring. But his tattoo game is shameful just like the fact that Anthony hasn't won an NBA title yet in his career.
11 Shameful: Steph Curry "Being Present"
When it comes to Steph Curry, there really aren't a lot of negative things to say. He is a two time NBA champion and two time NBA MVP. He just recently signed a five year, $200 million dollar contract this past offseason. He is a family man and has a wonderful wife, Ayesha, and little girl, Riley. There is not too much to bash Curry for. But if there was one thing, it would be his choice of tattoos.
Like we said, Curry is not short of money, considering he just signed a huge contract this past offseason and has a ton of endorsement money saved as well. Steph and Ayesha decided to get matching tattoos. Apparently, the tattoo gives off the meaning of "being present". The meaning is fine, but the tattoo is so small and barely recognizable. For someone with a lot of money, you would have thought Curry would go a little more above and beyond for such a tattoo.
10 Best: Blake Griffin "City Views"
Simplicity is best when it comes to tattoos. That was probably the thinking by this next good tattoo by Los Angeles Clippers star forward Blake Griffin. Griffin, like Steph Curry, signed for a big max. contract this past offseason. So why not go out and spend some money on a nice tattoo, right? Griffin got a tattoo on his ribcage and it looks to be very peaceful and relatable to all who can view it.
It is one of two children hanging on a tree branch while they overlook the city. It is really peaceful and can really relate to everyone back in the day. It was a simpler time when children can just look out and forget all of their worries in the world. It is good of Blake Griffin to give us a flashback to a better time and a simpler time. But we are sure Blake doesn't have many worries in the world considering he is a millionaire living in Los Angeles.
9 Shameful: Kyrie Irving Left Shoulder
Kyrie Irving can do almost anything with a basketball. He is one of the best finishers at the rim in the NBA. He can hit a clutch shot, like the game winning three in the 2016 NBA Finals at Golden State against the Warriors. He can play defense, and he can lead a team. While he has a new and seemingly improved life with the Boston Celtics, he still needs to figure out his tattoo game.
To be completely honest, we have no idea why he has a hand on his left upper arm. It looks like he has something written above, but even when scrolled in, you can't make out what it is saying. The flower about the other tattoo at least is pretty clearly a flower. Kyrie may have escaped LeBron James's shadow in Boston, but he definitely cannot escape the confusion and shame his tattoo brings.
8 Shameful: Kyle Kuzma "Ford"
The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the most talked about teams in the 2017 off-season, primarily pertaining to the 2017 NBA Draft. They had the second pick in the entire draft and they used it on UCLA guard Lonzo Ball. But they also had the 27th pick in the draft and took Kyle Kuzma out of Utah. Ball and Kuzma have definitely given Lakers fans something to be excited about in the near future. Kuzma definitely don't forget that he was born and raised and Michigan. He got tattoos on his right arm, but one that stands out in a bad way is the FORD one.
Kyle Kuzma could have continued to get tattoos to show his pride for Detroit and his pride for the state of Michigan as a whole. But Kuzma might have overdone it a bit with the FORD tattoo. Kuzma could have gotten more creative or added some color to it at least. Good for FORD for getting some free publicity from Kuzma with the tattoo, but the design could have had a lot more design and thought to it.
7 Best: LeBron James "What We Do In Life"
LeBron James may be one of the most hated players in the NBA. Sure, he has won three NBA titles, multiple MVP awards, and made it to eight straight NBA finals. But a lot of people hate him because he is a baby, because he likes to complain about every call, or maybe because he really got the whole idea of "super teams" started. A lot of people have a reason to hate him. But one thing we can all love about LeBron is his tattoo saying, "What we do in Life".
LeBron gives us a reminder of whatever we do in life should be for the satisfaction of ourselves and for nobody else. People forget that LeBron is a loving family man, he doesn't get in trouble, and is also involved in numerous charities in Cleveland. Whether he finishes out as a Cavalier or goes elsewhere again, we can all relate to his tattoo and clearly see what we have to do in life for ourselves is our first and most important priority.
6 Shameful: Blake Griffin "Just Keep Smiling"
Blake Griffin definitely had a great tattoo that we touched upon earlier. Just like how he has good and bad days in the NBA, Blake Griffin has good and bad tattoos for the world to see. Unfortunately this time, the tattoo is bad and downright shameful. For somebody who just got a new contract, Blake could have definitely made his tattoo on the right side of his ribcage more creative...or perhaps bigger.
The tattoo reads "Just Keep Smiling". It is definitely a great concept to grasp. But the only thing with Griffin having it on his body is that it is so small. Why does he have it that small to begin with? Does he not think that smiling is a big part of life? Maybe. But with all of that newly acquired money along with his endorsement deals, he definitely could have done a better job. Unless he can somehow fix it, it will stay shameful and almost non-existent.
5 Shameful: John Wall "Mario Ankle"
Sometimes professional athletes love to get tattoos that remind them of their favorite television show, movie character, or even video game character. In the 1990s and 2000s, Super Mario was one of the most entertaining and popular video game characters in the world. Wizards star point guard John Wall apparently loved it so much, that he decided to get a Mario tattoo on his own. The problem is, it really isn't that good.
First of all, why did he have to get the Mario tattoo in the first place? Sure, Mario was a loveable character along with his gang of Donkey Kong, Peach, his brother Luigi, and others. But John Wall didn't need to get the tattoo. He also didn't need to add the extra mushrooms and stars as well. If you're going to get a Mario tattoo for whatever reason, keep it simple and just get Mario. Unfortunately, this isn't the end of bad Mario tattoos either.
4 Best: Joe Ingles "Renee" Tattoo
We all can admit that we love a good story about a tattoo with a deep, significant meaning. For Utah guard Joe Ingles, he appears to come off as a big family man. With a world full of divorce and deadbeat parents, it is nice to see an NBA player care so much for his family. He didn't overdo this one as he simply got his wife's name "Renee" tattooed on his left wrist.
Ingles shows his love for his wife with the tattoo. It is big enough where people can see it up close, but also private enough where it won't be a distraction. It isn't like watching J.R. Smith, or Dennis Rodman, or Chris "Birdman" Andersen who are loaded up on tats. Ingles also supposedly has his children's names on his other wrist, so he is a complete family man. The NBA needs more men like Joe Ingles to proudly wear family member's names on their body without being a media distraction.
3 Shameful: Mario Chalmers "Mario Basketball Tattoo"
We saw an instance of the first Super Mario tattoo with John Wall. Now, we take a look at another Mario tattoo with Mario Chalmers. On the surface, it can make sense because of the names being the same. But when you look at the actual tattoo, it is quite shameful. Mario Chalmers started the movement of Mario tattoos back in 2015 and we don't know why.
Mario has a basketball in his hands which makes sense because Chalmers is in the NBA. But we don't understand where we have seen Super Mario play anything other than baseball. Also, there is no color to truly have us remember everything great that was Super Mario. Chalmers really hasn't had much to celebrate since he hit that big three in college in the National Championship game to help Kansas win a National Championship. It was a nice idea to try to get more notice, but unfortunately, it isn't that good: plain and simple.
2 Shameful: Mike Muscala "Mario Back"
Our final shameful tattoo once again involves our hero, Super Mario. Mario has had a lot to deal with during his video game career. He has had to compete against Sonic the Hedgehog in the Olympics, have his brother Luigi save him from a haunted mansion, as well as form an All-Star baseball team to take down Bowser. He also has three NBA players with less than stellar tattoos of him on their bodies. Mike Muscala is a forward/center that is the third of players on this list that have Mario on him forever. But the tattoo isn't what he hoped.
The two big things about Mario is the spot of the tattoo and the fact that the tattoo can be half visible and half hidden with a jersey on. His tattoo is on his back which takes away from people seeing the actual tattoo. The design itself is actually very good, but it being on his back requires him to have to take his shirt off for people to admire. Also, as seen in the picture with his jersey, Muscala has half of it showing and half hidden. Why not fully hide it or have it fully visible? This tattoo definitely needs a lot of work and is quite shameful.
1 Best: Elfrid Payton "Flash"
We end our discussion of tattoos with a good one of Magic point guard Elfrid Payton. He has been described as a quick guard that can set up his teammates in the open floor. He almost appears to be as quick as "The Flash" at times. That perfectly describes why he has a tattoo on his right arm that says "Flash".
The block lettering is a real sign of Payton taking the time to design this tattoo before he actually got it. The only thing that could have made it just a bit better is if he got some color in it. The only downside to any of this is that Payton is a free agent after this season. If they cannot re-sign him, "Flash" will be no more. So while he is in the happiest place on Earth, people might want to enjoy the beauty of his tattoo whenever possible.