The Top 10 NBA Players with Face Tattoos [Past & Present]

There are a lot of reasons why sports fans feel like they can connect with NBA players more than any other type of athletes. Unlike MLB, NFL or NHL stars, NBA players aren’t required to wear full length uniforms that cover their entire body, or heaps of equipment that conceal guys’ identities.

It’s often said that the body is each person’s canvas, and basketball players get to exhibit theirs with the world. Fans get to see how they express themselves with their bodies, largely through the nature of the artwork they have on them.

Certain players have more elaborate tattoos than others, and particular ink might have more meaning to players than others.

With this creative and colorful backdrop, let’s take a closer look at the top current and former players who dazzled us with their skills and their face tattoos.


Top 2 Current Players with Face Tattoos

Jordan Clarkson

Since he entered the league with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2014-2015 season, Jordan Clarkson hasn’t been one for conventional structure. Watching him play over the course of his career makes this abundantly clear, as he’s most effective scoring the ball in transition.

It turns out that Clarkson also isn’t one for conventional wisdom when it comes to the tats department, either. While many NBA players have little to no reservation about where they get tattoos, usually their faces are off limits.

Clarkson, now with the Utah Jazz, doesn’t subscribe to that notion. It may be hard to notice with his rag-tag style of play, but he does have ink by his left temple and underneath his chin.

Face Tattoos Include: The word “love”, and three skulls

Kyle Kuzma

Washington Wizards scorer Kyle Kuzma may be more well known for his outlandish outfits than his production on the court (which by the way, is pretty notable). His tattoos may take an even deeper backseat, but he has more pretty unique ink than people give him credit for.

While Kuzma doesn’t have a tattoo on his actual like his former Lakers teammate Clarkson, he does have a lot of creative images. It’s not uncommon for players to have a tattooed image of the face of a loved one, but Kuzma took a slightly different spin.

He went to the animal kingdom for inspiration, and sports a tattoo of a lion’s face on his body. Kuzma may one day be king of the NBA jungle on a title-contender.

Face Tattoos Include: Lion


Top 8 Former Players with Face Tattoos

Amar’e Stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire is one of the most ferocious dunkers in NBA history. His special combination of leaping ability, power and athleticism in the air made him a candidate for an incredible highlight any time he was remotely close to the rim.

Despite his magnetic smile and alluring play, Stoudemire had to deal with some personal strife during his career. His older brother passed away in a car accident when Stoudemire played for the New York Knicks.

To honor his memory, the NBA star got a tattoo just under his eye in the image of a tear drop. He wanted the world to know that he was still crying inside as he dealt with his sibling’s tragic death.

Face Tattoos Include: Tear drop

J.R. Smith

Throughout his entertaining NBA career, J.R. Smith was a player that fans would talk about in a myriad of different ways. He had a pretty successful stint in the NBA, but some wondered if he would’ve been even better had he focused on the game a little bit more.

In addition to letting his deep three-point shots and soaring alley-oop dunks do his talking, Smith also took full advantage of the space on his body to maximize his ink coverage. This includes the left and right areas of his chest, which feature two larger prominent faces.

He has an image of his mother and an illustration of Jesus, both figures who are instrumental to Smith’s upbringing and current life.

Face Tattoos Include: J.R. Smith’s mother, and Jesus

Kenyon Martin

There weren’t a lot of NBA players who looked forward to going up against Kenyon Martin. He was the type of player that wasn’t going to back down from anyone, regardless of how talented they were or how much stronger they might have been.

Martin was not afraid to get into a tussle every now and again, but the imagery on his body showed a different side of the rugged NBA player. It demonstrated a sentimental side that many fans did not associate with him.

He had an image of a baby’s face tattooed on his arm, to show his love for one of his two sons. Incidentally, one of Martin’s sons, K.J. Martin, plays in the NBA now for the Houston Rockets.

Face Tattoos Include: Lips (now covered up) and a baby’s face

Stephon Marbury

There were few players who took a more mercurial road to fame than Stephon Marbury. He was a phenom as a teenager, dominating the asphalt courts of New York City before taking his game to Georgia Tech and eventually the NBA.

Fans were enamored with his handle and shot-making ability, but it never parlayed into winning at the NBA level. These massive expectations led Marbury down a dark path, but things eventually turned around when he became a legend in China.

Marbury’s shaved head was as good a place as any to promote his Starbury brand, and he had the logo tattooed to the left side of his dome. Starbury sneakers were released to the public at a stunningly low cost of $15.

Face Tattoos Include: Starbury logo

Chris Andersen

To say that the NBA career of Chris Andersen got off to a slow start might be an understatement. He was an afterthought reserve big man who was suspended for the entirety of the 2006-2007 for substance abuse.

It seemed more likely than not Andersen was going to flame out, and would have to figure out what he wanted to do next with his life. However, things picked up for him as he became “the Birdman” during his time with the Denver Nuggets.

Andersen certainly leaned into this moniker with several tattoos alluding to birds or flight. He also has images of two skulls on the back of his head, which are visible when he shaved his head.

Face Tattoos Include: Skulls

Wilson Chandler

When fans think of solid players from the 2010’s, Wilson Chandler’s name is one that would often come up. He wasn’t a star by any means, but was pretty good at several areas of the game, which made him a versatile swingman.

He could also be relied upon to get a plethora of pretty neat tattoos. Chandler once said that his favorite tattoos were the ones he got of his family.

Perhaps the most recognizable image on Chandler’s body is that of his daughter, which appears just below the start of his neck. The NBA veteran also had music star Eazy-E’s face displayed on his shoulder out of appreciation for his impactful work.

Face Tattoos Include: Chandler’s daughter and Eazy-E from N.W.A.

Willy Cauley-Stein

Since his days at the University of Kentucky, center Willie Cauley-Stein seemed like a lock to be a factor in the NBA for a long time. His career did not quite pan out that way, but he was still able to stick in the league for seven years.

Cauley-Stein’s ability to express himself through his tattoos was pretty memorable. He has said in the past that he’s very intentional with the artwork he has on his face.

He has two X’s and a tear drop next to one of his eyebrows, which is an ode to a friend that died a few years ago. Cauley-Stein also has the letters “PPP” tattooed on his forehead.

Face Tattoos Include: Two X’s, a tear drop, the letters “PPP”

Lucas Nogueira

When he was first drafted by the Boston Celtics, the first things that stood out about Lucas Nogueira were his massive size and his even more expansive hair. His afro was so large that his draft cap looked like a cartoon drawn on top of his hair.

Even though his NBA career only lasted four years, the Brazilian big man had some pretty notable looks during his stint in the pros. He elected to get a few face tattoos when he was a member of the Toronto Raptors.

It’s a bit difficult to make out the words tattooed on Nogueira’s face. However, it seems likely that they are of great significance to him given their position.

Face Tattoos Include: Inconclusive words


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