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Rick Carlisle likes Renaldo Balkman’s eyelid tattoos, dreads

Oct 10, 2013, 11:23 AM EDT

Puerto Rico's Balkman gets past Argentina's Scola during their FIBA Americas Championship basketball game in Caracas

Renaldo Balkman is most famous for choking a teammate in the Philippines and being a strange pawn in the Knicks’ quest to sign LeBron James

But there’s more to Balkman than that. He’s a complex human being with hopes and dreams, tragedies and triumphs, dreadlocks and eyelid tattoos.

Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News:

The Mavericks’ forward, who is trying to cash in on his long-shot chance of making the final roster, has the words “hustle” and “harder” inked onto right and left eyelid, respectively. Those words embody his philosophy on basketball, not to mention speaking highly of his ability to handle pain.

Asked for his first thoughts on the dreadlocked, multi-tattooed former first-round draft pick of the New York Knicks, coach Rick Carlisle said: “My first thoughts? I like his hairdo. And I like his tattoos a lot. There’s a lot of storytelling going on there.

“You know he’s got a high pain tolerance if he’s got tattoos on his eyelids. All that stuff impresses me before we even start talking about his game. That’s why I liked [DeShawn] Stevenson.”

Ah, Balkman’s game. I’ve gone this far without even mentioning it.

He’s shown to be a good rebounder for his size and quality finisher, but he hasn’t made much of an impact in the last few years. He’s probably a replacement-level player or so, but at 29, he doesn’t have much room to improve.

Not that it matters, in all likelihood. The Mavericks have invited the maximum 20 players to training camp, and 15 – the maximum allowed to make the regular-season roster – already have guaranteed contracts. Balkman does not have a guaranteed contract, making it very unlikely he makes the team.

Carlisle will likely have to find Dallas’ grittiness elsewhere.

  1. chip56 - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    I can’t think of a single reason I would want to cover my entire body with tattoos.

    It’s just dumb…Balkman, JR Smith, Birdman, they already look like idiots; they’re going to look like complete buffoons when they’re in their 40s, 50s and beyond.

  2. lbroberts123 - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Say what you want about Balkman, but he plays hard on defense and performs well as a slashing forward. He gets rebounds he shouldn’t get and definitely brings intensity. He should be on a roster somewhere.

  3. genericcommenter - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    I think Dallas was confused and thought they were bringing back Rolando Blackman.

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