Friday, May 08, 2009

NBA - Inked Up

Watching the NBA Playoffs I feel like I am watching an infomercial for tattoos. or one of those TV shows on TLC, LA Ink or Miami Ink. There is more ink in the NBA then in a Stephen King novel. Even Mike Tyson’s face thinks there are a lot of tattoos... HervĂ© Villechaize(aka Tattoo) believes it also. When you see more ink then skin on a high percentage of the players, it more then stands out and is hard to miss.

Tattoo are a personal thing, I get that. It is a way for people to express themselves and their personality, but strictly at first glance from a casual observer it can very easily come across as being a little thuggish.

One has to look no further then Denver’s Chris "Birdman" Anderson. This guy has had a checkered past and very publicized issues with substance abuse that got him expelled from the NBA for a time but man he has a lot of art. Almost every player you see on the court now is tatt’d up. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are no exception both have their fair share to be sure. Perhaps it stems from the grass roots level, urban living, a sort of streetball mentality, Granted, many of these players use it as a form of respect or in memory or honour of loved ones but at a very quick and superficial glance, it does look like an urban video rather then a major multi million dollar sport.

The majority of thsese players are probably great guys but the image that it projects may not connect with all fans. If one were to take that position, I suppose that one must play devils advocate and say that their target market are young urban youth, typical urban males and that it fits in perfectly with the marketability of the product both in viewership and in merchandising. Just goes to show that you can’t please everyone.

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