A few months back, during a Bill Simmons podcast, Marc Stein pointed out that NBA players are the single most auspicious group of consumers in professional sports, and that everything they purchase is judged as a sign of status. Stein cited cars, jewelry, and even suits; we’re pretty sure it’s safe to include tattoos on this list.
For proof, look no further than Washington Wizard DeShawn Stevenson. The sharp-shooting guard has always had a demonstrative streak about him, but he’s reached absurd new heights with the tattoos he unveiled today. Put it this way: Stevenson turned his neck into a 5-dollar bill, and that might not be the weirdest ink above his shoulders.
The Wizards blog TRUTH ABOUT IT, via BALL DON’T LIE (two blogs evidently very concerned with sports misleading people) has the story on Stevenson’s tattoos, including one tribute to the original movie zombie (no, we’re not talking about Abraham Lincoln):
What does Abe Lincoln have to do with all this? Well, his face is one of Stevenson’s new tats … and it’s right on the front of his neck (jeez that seems painful), always looking right back at you.
Stevenson also has a backwards Pittsburgh Pirates logo on his right cheek and a Frankenstein-esque crack starting at his hairline and working its way down his forehead (not sure what happens if his hairline starts receding).
Hi-res is available here, by the way. 400 px can’t possibly do this justice.
Anyway, that last line reminds us of the old joke about the rabbi’s wife sewing new rows onto his yarmulke. But we promised no Yiddish humor on Mondays, so we’ll leave that be.
If you’re wondering if Stevenson has a good excuse for all the work, well, it probably depends on your definition of “good excuse.” Per the WASHINGTON TIMES:
On his left cheek bone is inked the Pitsburgh Pirate’s ‘P’, “for the Pittsburgh, that’s my favorite team. Barry Bonds, when he first started.” The thing about the P is, however, that it’s backwards and looks more like a 9. DeShawn tried to explain, “No, if you’re standing where Dom’s standing and looking at me, it looks like a P.” Dominic McGuire was standing directly in front of him about 10 yards away, but it still looked like a 9. I think DeShawn meant to say, “when I look in the mirror it looks like a P.”
If Stevenson really just wanted to see a Pirates’ P whenever he looked in the mirror, he may have wanted to just get a decal for his bathroom mirror and left his face alone. We’re just sayin’. Anyway.
The final new tat is a crack on the left side of Stevenson’s forehead. He said it’s because “I don’t crack. I feel like people always try to break me, but I don’t crack. So, I put that there.”
But the tattoo is of a crack. That’s like saying, “I don’t like watching gay sex. So I put a tattoo of two guys humping each other right over my heart. That’s because I’m not gay.”
But since this is the NBA, and since somebody’s going to be determined not to let DeShawn Stevenson outdo the rest of the league, rest assured that in five years, this will absolutely not be the worst ink job in the league’s history. We can hardly wait.