By Lloyd Graff
Tattoos on NBA players irritate me. Lebron James has 17 body tattoos that have been identified. Though it is suspected that he has others which have not appeared in photos.
I see the proliferation of body hieroglyphics as a reflection of the “look at me I’m a star” braggadocio that sullies the slam dunk league. I am an old school basketball purist who revels in team play and a flawless fast-break. I love a Steve Nash or a Chris Paul because they can score and dish and improvise the game into Brubeck jazz.
I ask myself if my annoyance with tattoos is latent racism, generational divide, or just hoops snobbery. It probably has some of all three elements. Though I see a Chris Anderson as the ultimate narcissist, a mediocre white player displaying himself like a spooked peacock.
Anybody who follows my writing knows that I am a sports enthusiast. Basketball has been a love since I watched Bob Cousy make no-look behind the back passes to Bill Russell for the Boston Celtics. I think Lebron is the most talented basketball player I’ve ever watched, but watching him take over a game with one on one play in the fourth quarter is as annoying as looking at his tattoos.
Question: Do you feel that body ink is symptomatic of a thuggified cult of personality NBA or am I a hopelessly out of touch Frank Sinatra white guy in a Lil Wayne’s world?
Chris Andersen & his tattoos