The NBA’s image has drastically changed throughout the years, and tattoos are a big part of that it.
Mike Wilson, managing editor of FiveThirtyEight, joined us to talk about the tattoo image in the NBA and claims that a lot of the players today were influenced by the legendary, Allen Iverson. Iverson was a trailblazer who can be credited for being one of the first accepted superstars with a lot of tattoos.
Since the Allen Iverson era, tattoos in the NBA have become not only common, but the norm. The look of the NBA today has completely changed from the 80’s. We’ve gone from short shorts and bare arms to shorts below the knees and tattoos that cover every inch of one’s skin. But the fact of the matter is that many of these tattoos have a great story behind them. Whether it be remembering a loved one who passed away or celebrating a new life in this world.
“Ethan Swan in his research found that roughly 53 to 56 percent of players have been tatted up since he started looking in the 2010-2011 season,” said Wilson.
Then of course there are the ones with insignificant tattoos. Wilson mentions that one of the most ridiculous tattoos he’s seen is Deshawn Stevenson’s Abraham Lincoln tattoo on his neck.
“People tend to focus on that one. you can think what you want about that one. And of course the Birdman form Miami. He’s got tattoos all over. Some people like them, some don’t.”