NBA Players with Face Tattoos 2024: Surprising Insights You Didn’t Know

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NBA players with face tattoos are a fascinating topic that captures the attention of basketball enthusiasts and tattoo lovers alike. You might have noticed how tattoos have become an increasingly popular form of self-expression among athletes, particularly those in the NBA.

Some players even take it a step further, displaying their ink on their faces, making bold statements with their body art.

Popular NBA Players with Face Tattoos

LeBron James

LeBron, known for his incredible skills on the court, is no stranger to tattoos. While most of his ink is on his arms and torso, LeBron has a small Crown face tattoo under his right eye. This tattoo symbolizes his “King James” persona and his dominance in the NBA.

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson, a basketball legend and cultural icon, has several tattoos on his body, including some on his face. He has a teardrop tattoo next to his left eye, which is believed to represent someone he lost in his life. In addition, the word “Gambino” is tattooed on his neck, representing the Gambino crime family, who inspired him due to their rise from poverty to power.

Jordan Clarkson

Jordan Clarkson‘s face tattoos showcase his creativity and individuality. Some of his facial ink includes a peace sign, a smiley face, and the number “2” below his eye. These tattoos, combined with his intricate tattoo collection on his body, are just some ways Clarkson expresses himself.

Michael Jordan

Interestingly, Michael Jordan does not have any face tattoos. While he does have a few tattoos on other parts of his body, his face remains tattoo-free. This is a reminder that not all NBA players partake in the face tattoo trend, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t a crucial aspect of the league’s culture and self-expression.

Face Tattoos as Tributes

Nipsey Hussle Tattoos

Nipsey Hussle, a rapper and entrepreneur, was a beloved hip-hop figure before tragically passing away in 2019. As a tribute to his legacy, some NBA players have honored him by getting face tattoos featuring his portrait or other symbols that represent him.

For example, DeMar DeRozan inked a picture of Nipsey Hussle on his arm, showing his love and admiration for the late rapper.

Tupac Tattoos

Another icon who has inspired NBA players with face tattoos is Tupac Shakur. The legendary rapper’s influence continues to be felt across the league, and players such as Marcus Morris have chosen to immortalize him in ink. Morris has a tattoo of Tupac’s face on his left leg, which is a tribute to the rapper’s lasting impact on music and culture.

Family Tributes

Family is essential to many players’ lives, and some honor their loved ones with face tattoos. These tributes can take various forms, such as initials, portraits, or symbols representing their family members. For instance, Lonzo Ball has a tattoo of his mother’s and father’s initials intertwined on the side of his wrist, showing his appreciation and love for his parents.

Loyalty Tattoos

nba players with face tattoos

Lastly, loyalty is a valued trait among NBA players, and some of them choose to display their commitment to a particular group or idea with a face tattoo. Loyalty tattoos can feature specific symbols, words, or phrases representing the player’s dedication to their chosen cause. An example is Tyronn Lue, who has the word “Loyalty” tattooed on his neck, emphasizing the importance of remaining loyal to those who support and trust him.

While the world of NBA players with face tattoos varies, one common theme is tributes. Whether it’s honoring a beloved rapper, showing love for family members, or demonstrating loyalty to a particular group, these tattoos serve as a visual reminder of the people and ideas that matter most.

Tattoo Trends and Artwork

Portrait Tattoos

One of the most popular tattoo styles among athletes is portrait tattoos. These are usually detailed, lifelike images of loved ones, idols, or cultural icons. Many players choose these tattoos to pay tribute to their heroes, such as family members, friends, or even coaches who have contributed to their success. Portrait tattoos are a beautiful way to honor someone important to you, and they are often seen on various parts of players’ bodies, including their faces.

Sleeve Tattoos

It’s hard not to notice the eye-catching sleeve tattoos on some NBA players. These intricate and elaborate designs usually cover entire arms or legs, telling a story or representing a theme significant to the player. When you watch your favorite NBA stars, you might spot intricate patterns or vibrant colors making up their sleeve tattoos, each unique to the individual and their journey.

Neck Tattoos

Neck tattoos have gained popularity among athletes, and NBA players are no exception. These can be subtle, small designs or bold and extensive artwork that runs from the base of the neck to the jawline. Neck tattoos often symbolize determination, strength, and commitment to their craft. They also remind players what they have overcome and accomplished in their careers.

Skull Tattoos

Skull tattoos might seem intimidating, but they have a deeper meaning for many NBA players. Representing transformation, change, and growth, skull tattoos are a powerful symbol that resonates with the athlete’s journey. Whether as standalone designs or incorporated into larger pieces, these tattoos are usually found on areas of the body like the arms, chest, and back, bringing a fierce and resilient touch to their look.

Sun Tattoos

Another trend seen among NBA players is sun tattoos. These bright and cheerful designs are symbols of hope, regeneration, and energy, embodying the continuous pursuit of greatness. Sun tattoos range from simple shapes and lines to intricate, radiant patterns. The sun’s power can be seen on arms, legs, or even, in some cases, incorporated as part of face tattoos.

Tattoo Culture in NBA Teams

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have had their fair share of tattooed superstars, from Kobe Bryant’s iconic Black Mamba tattoo to LeBron James’ detailed body artwork. You can even find some interesting facial tattoos on current players like Kyle Kuzma. The influence of tattoo culture within the Lakers organization is significant and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have a long history of players with unique tattoos. The legendary Dennis Rodman‘s heavily tattooed body is a prime example. Derrick Rose, a former Bulls star, also has an extensive collection, including neck tattoos. While there may not be any current Bulls players with face tattoos, the organization is no stranger to the inked culture in the NBA.

Golden State Warriors

When it comes to Golden State, the tattoo culture runs in the blood of its players. Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins have both proudly shown off their ink, including distinctive face tattoos. Other Warriors stars like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson may not have face tattoos, but their impactful body artwork contributes to the team’s strong tattoo presence.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have seen various players proudly displaying their tattoos during their tenure in the organization. Terrence Ross, a former Raptors player, is known for his unique face tattoos, while Serge Ibaka also sports some of his tribal heritage through his ink. The Raptors’ embrace of tattoo culture highlights the diversity and creativity within their players and the NBA.

New York Knicks

Finally, the New York Knicks have a rich tattoo culture, especially with players like J.R. Smith, known for his extensive body art that includes a neck tattoo. The city of New York itself is famous for its tattoo scene, and the Knicks players are no exception. The organization has welcomed players with face tattoos like Trey Burke, illustrating how tattoo culture continues to thrive in this iconic basketball city.

Tattoos Beyond the NBA

Regarding NBA players with face tattoos, the inked-up athletes often grab headlines and spark conversations. However, these trendsetters are not limited to the NBA. Let’s explore the world of tattoos in other sports, like baseball and more.

Baseball Player Tattoos

Tattoos are not as widespread in baseball as in basketball, but you’ll still find some interesting ink in the MLB. In California, home to several major league teams, tattoos carry a unique cultural significance that reflects the diverse backgrounds of players.

Many baseball players proudly display their tattoos from pitching aces to heavy-hitting sluggers. Some showcase their hometown pride or honor a beloved family member, while others might boast a creative design that represents their journey or celebrates an important milestone.

Other Sports Players

The tattoo craze is not limited to NBA and MLB stars. Professional athletes from various sports have opted to express themselves through body art. In the United States, you can find tattoo enthusiasts in football, hockey, and even extreme sports.

Whether it’s MMA fighters displaying ancient tribal patterns or soccer players showcasing elaborate artwork that pays homage to their cultural heritage, tattoos have become an integral part of the athletic landscape as these athletes proudly wear their stories on their skin.

So, as you can see, tattoos transcend the boundaries of the NBA and are prevalent across multiple sports. With unique designs and deeply personal meanings, these inked athletes continue to push the envelope and shatter stereotypes in professional sports.

My Personal Opinion

In my opinion, NBA players with face tattoos add a fascinating dimension to the game. These tattoos serve as a canvas for the players to express their individuality, values, and personal stories. It’s incredible to see the diverse designs, from symbolic artwork to meaningful messages etched on their faces.

I think, face tattoos often reflect the players’ journey, struggles, and triumphs, giving us a glimpse into their lives beyond the basketball court. It’s a reminder that they are not just athletes, but individuals with unique backgrounds and experiences that have shaped who they are today.

While face tattoos have sparked some debates, I believe they empower players to embrace their true selves and break away from traditional norms. It shows that they are unafraid to challenge conventions and stand out in a world where image and reputation matter.


Who popularized face tattoos?

In the mid 2000s, the trend of getting a facial tattoo emerged among celebrities, starting with boxer Mike Tyson‘s large tribal tattoo in 2003 and the ascension of rap music from the underground to the mainstream.

Who has most tattoos in NBA?

Nicknamed the ‘Birdman’, Christopher Claus Andersen is the most tattooed NBA player ever. After he retires from NBA in 2017, he now plays in the BIG3 league for Power.

Does the NBA have rules about tattoos?

Because Smith’s “SUPREME” and Ball’s “BBB Born” tattoos aren’t allowed. “NBA rules prohibit players from displaying any commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair,” league spokesman Mike Bass said.

What is on YoungBoy’s face?

oungBoy has quite a few tattoos on his face, including the name “Hassen” on his left temple, the word “Restricted” on his left cheek and a diamond stone under his left eye. He also has a bevy of neck tats of various symbols and images.

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Fabian Kühar
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