Our second installment features some bold backside designs (the anti-Chris Bosh kind) as well as some creative arm and torso arrangements. The spiritual-religious theme is heavy among these sports standouts as well…
KEVIN DURANT, Oklahoma City Thunder
Despite the massive size of Durant’s back tats, the NBA’s top scoring machine keeps it spiritual and grounded…just like he is. With KD, it’s all about God, home and hoops. Across his shoulders spews MARYLAND, repping his native Prince George’s County while Durant’s spirituality is chronicled in an angel holding a basketball. Supporting the angel on both sides are hands with fingers indicating KD’s jersey number, 35, which in itself holds special significance because it is a tribute to his AAU coach who passed away at that age. Inscribed on Durant’s right front side near his waistline is the saying, “Walk by Faith, Not by Sight” showing his belief in scripture. Looks like ATL tat artist Randy certainly had Durant’s back here.
CALVIN JOHNSON, Detroit Lions
Tat artist Randy (“Tattoos” in Atlanta) also has Megatron as a client. A Georgia native, the All-Pro wideout called on Randy to display his religious side with intricate sleeve tats throughout both his arms. On Johnson’s left arm sits the bible crucifixion surrounded by angel wings with a distinctive halo over the middle cross of Christ. On the right arm rests a brilliant Holy cross design decorated with a crown, wings and the light of Christ. Megatron has a mega career making mega millions yet still recognizes the Mega Being that makes it all possible. That’s mega rich.
RAJON RONDO, Boston Celtics
A luxury performance vehicle in his own right for Boston, Rondo borrows the Rolls-Royce symbol to honor his own initials with a huge tat on his back. Double R’s cover the majority of the All-Star point guard’s backside, bold and daring like that of Rondo’s play on the court. Rondo believes in quality over quantity so there isn’t a need for any additional ink. A singular, quality image for a singular, quality point guard. That definitely works.
RAY RICE, Baltimore Ravens
Another double R All-Star, this New Rochelle, NY product decided to honor his initials on the back end of both his arms. Inflamed Gothic R’s cover them both. On Ray’s forearms are the words “Gifted One” and the spirituality theme is displayed on both deltoids with Holy hands on his right and the Holy cross on his left. The letters S.U.P.E. stream from his right bicep to honor his fallen cousin Shaun, who was an inspiring rapper who went by those initials: Spiritually Uplifting People Everywhere. No doubt Rice follows that same approach in his community work.
LOU WILLIAMS, Atlanta Hawks
This sixth man sensation has an obviously high tattoo percentage…his torso and arms practically 100% covered. From the middle of his chest springs what appears to be an illuminating crowned rock (we royally go hard, maybe?) surrounded by skulls, and the lion king. Williams’s intricate design pattern also includes stars, flowers, doves and wings. His name is cursively inscribed across his stomach and there is a tinge of red bricks throughout his torso hinting at his solid resolve. Lou obviously went for broke but at least his tat game has symmetry.
DARREN MCFADDEN, Oakland Raiders
Country boy McFadden’s tat game is decidedly rooted in his native Arkansas. “Arkansas Bred” engulfs his stomach area like a razorback devours dead animals. In fact, a razorback is presented hooping through a large “A” on Darren’s right back shoulder, clearly revealing his Alma mater. Also on his back are the letters L and R, intertwined, for Little Rock. Covering McFadden’s biceps is “501 Boy,” repping his local area code. RaiderNation anticipates McFadden finally “busting loose” this year like the tat on his right arm and becoming an All-Pro running back.
DORELL WRIGHT, Golden State Warriors
This Bay area sharpshooter’s game exploded on the NBA scene last season, much like his tats explode throughout his arms and chest. The Wright stuff includes a love-hate skull on his right shoulder, enlightened praying hands on his right breast, and “Hoop Family” written across his wrist, signifying Dorell’s L.A. roots and close ties to his boys back home with whom he balls. There is also the dynamic “DW1″ design on the back of Dorell’s left calf. To be honest, Wright is constantly adding to his tat game, just as he’s adding to his reputation as one of the NBA’s deadliest shooters from deep.
MICHAEL VICK, Philadelphia Eagles
The tribulations that Vick has endured throughout his career are well documented. What isn’t much reported is Michael’s reverence for God. His respect and devotion for the Lord is gracefully displayed across his neck in the words, “A Child of God.” The maturity, growth and nurturing prevalent in Vick clearly comes from this source. It may also be what’s behind Philly’s perfect start to the season despite a less-than-perfect performance by their QB.
ISAIAH THOMAS, Sacramento Kings
Thomas has spent his sporting life proving people wrong. A little dude with huge NBA aspirations, Isaiah made the jump to the league in 2011 and performed well in his first pro season. The saying on Isaiah’s backside encased in bricks (solid, man…solid!) says it all about his making it in the NBA. Thomas’s Pacific Northwest roots are represented on his back as well, Tac Town (Tacoma, 253 area code) laid out in proud state form on his left side. On his upper left arm bursts an elaborate fiery design pattern. With the namesake that Thomas possesses (no relation, btw), the 23-year old really has no choice but to succeed.
DELONTE WEST, Dallas Mavericks
West’s tat game really isn’t a game at all. But an outcry for understanding. The Washington, D.C. native, who happens to be bipolar, wears his heart on his sleeve and equally, his tats as symbols on his soul. His left breast is covered in scripture (with an angel overlooking): “I’d rather be a prince in your kingdom than a king over this Lifetime!” showing exactly where he places relevance in his life. On his neck sits the Holy cross with accompanying crown, and sprawled across his shoulders are the words, “Via Dolorosa” signifying pain and suffering…the path that Jesus walked towards crucifixion. Survival and sacrifice are Delonte’s themes. And the untold story of Delonte’s obscure journey.
NEXT WEEK: THE TATTED CONCLUSION!