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Kevin Durant does have ink. Lots of it.

Jul 21, 2011, 8:45 PM EDT

Durant tattoos Getty Images

Everyone likes Kevin Durant.

Over at CBSSports Eye on Basketball, they put together a “likability index” — NBA players you just like the most based on game and personality — and Durant came out on top. He’s the league’s two-time scoring champ, led the USA to gold in the FIBA World Championships, has a pure game, is humble, is thoughtful, wears a backpack, not a guy who parties like Dennis Rodman, doesn’t have a lot of tattoos…

Um, about that last one.

Durant likes his ink, as the guys at The Basketball Jones pointed out, using a photo from Durant’s current trip to Asia. He just crams all those tattoos into the parts of his body covered by his jersey.

Why? Marketing. He knows he’s the clean-cut image guy, this way he looks like he doesn’t have tats while he plays. Okay, maybe that’s too cynical, maybe he likes just getting tattoos on his torso… no, I have a hard time thinking that’s the case. Whatever. It really doesn’t matter.

That a guy in the NBA has tattoos — a lot of them, even — is not a sign of some “thug” life. It’s generational, and while the 50-somethings in the luxury suites don’t get it, their favorite 20-something up-and-comers at their law offices have tats under their suits.

The world should be a meritocracy — you advance up the ladder based on what you do not how you look. An accounting firm should be that way. The NBA should be that way. Durant can flat out play, he’s young and already come up big on big stages. It really doesn’t matter if he has tattoos on his arms or not.

Just don’t think he is ink free.

  1. oumoonunit - Jul 21, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    If his clean cut image is ruined by a bunch of Jesus tattoos, I will renounce my faith and worship Satan…or at least KD.

    • oumoonunit - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:19 PM

      His tattoos are: “The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor”, “Walk by faith not by sight,” his mother and grandmothers names, a cross, and his childhood house. Who could possible have a problem with that? Some people are crazy.

  2. jjstrokes - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    I didn’t think it was possible for KD to earn more of my respect until now… Of course ruining his clean-cut marketing image comes into play but I’m not so sure he would ever receive visible tatts regardless. I like to think that KD cares more about the message he sends out to the public, mainly the youth. Tattoos are an expression of art; there should be a personal meaning involved. When half the NBA players are fully-covered in ink they send an irresponsible message to young America. Do you have any idea how much money those players spend on tattoos? KD doesn’t want people spedning their whole paychecks to look like him. People should care more about getting jobs nowadays. Like Durantala, I only have tattoos on my torso so I’m understandably biased. Kevin Durant, Pure Class

  3. readysethike - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    Breaking News: he also has a tattoo on his wrist

  4. mella21 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    Honestly, I never understand when people put bible verses on their body. I mean, the same book you’re tatting also talks about treating the body like a temple…that you’ve been ransomed by God. SO you’re inking it up for God-who says he doesn’t want any images of heaven or himself?

    Anyway, thats a personal choice. I just want to chime in and say pretty much every 20 something seems to have a tattoo. I might be the only one without. I guess back in the day it was more a statement of lifestyle, or rebelliousness, now it seems de rigeur.
    But I think Durant is smart to have them where he does, instead of cynicism that could also be construed as him being respectful of his uniform and position.

    • agentpyro - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      You’re referencing 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, but if you take the time to understand context (aka 1 Corinthians 6:18) you’ll realize that it’s talking about sexual immorality, not tattoos.
      That being said, I don’t have any tattoos either, and I’m personally not a big fan for the same reasons as you, but I can’t, with conviction, point to that verse as the reason why.

    • oumoonunit - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:48 PM

      If his body is a temple, maybe the tattoos on his body help him worship his God in His temple. Nowhere in the bible does it tell you how to treat your body-temple. It only tells you that it is a temple. His tattoos seem to be very reverent to the sanctity of the temple.

  5. royistheboy - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    I must admit that I thought he was tat free and a bit more of a clean cut guy than other NBA stars because of it. Smart move on his end. For the record, I’m 25 and really don’t give a sh*t about what someone does to their body.

  6. louistaylored - Jul 24, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Okay lets cool it now, he’s not JR Smith

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