At the beginning of last season, a truly shocking sight rocked me to the core. JJ Redick, perhaps the whitest player in the NBA, showed up with a full tattoo sleeve. There’s even photo evidence:
What the hell? I thought NBA Twitter would catch on and start trashing him. I thought there would be puff pieces about it on NBA Countdown. I thought he’d get an endorsement from Paper Mate since they both have so much ink. But nothing. Literally no one said anything about it. If Kobe had done something this unexpected Mike Wilbon would have done about five sit down interviews with him in a month. Well, I’ve been silent long enough. Someone has to address this. Pretend it’s November 2015 and you’re just seeing him for the first time. Actually, you probably had no idea he even got it until now.
Do we have a new bad boy in the NBA? All those girls at the poetry slams don’t stand a chance anymore. Getting chicks at the locavore coffee shops will be like shooting fish in a barrel for JJ. This is one of the most astonishing tattoos I’ve ever seen. I have no idea what the intent was for this. Did he want to add some edge? Become more mysterious? The end result is the most hipster looking pro athlete maybe of all time. It might be working since he dropped 40 last season. A dirty little secret of mine: I never really hated JJ Redick. I acted like I did, because our school already had our one Duke fan, and nothing got you kicked off the cool table in the cafeteria faster than being the second Duke fan in 2005. Don’t get me wrong, I hated that Duke team, maybe more than I’ve ever hated any other team, but most of my hate was directed at Paulus, Sheldon Williams, and Demarcus Nelson. I was still #teamMorrison, but I didn’t want Redick dead like most of America.
Not many things better than unexpected (i.e., white) athletes getting huge tattoos out of nowhere. It’s a foolproof strategy, too. People calling you soft and unathletic? Get a gigantic tattoo, now you’re the wild card. Maybe you’ve spent the offseason adding a killer low post game, maybe you’ve spent it freebasing under an overpass. It keeps everyone on their toes.
Best unexpected tattoos off the top of my head:
Birman when he first showed up with the Nuggets
And of course, number one all time Robert Swift