Photos: NBA Euro’s Cool Knights Templar Tattoo

So far the highlight of the NBA season for me is the discovery of the tattoo of Minnesota TWolves rookie Nikola Pekovic.

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Pekovic had his left arm inked with an image bearing a striking resemblance to a common visual interpretation of a Templar Knight. (Atop a bed of skulls. Nice touch.)

In addition to the tattoo being damn cool, whether Pekovic intended it or not, there may be some history tying together his tiny, home country of Montenegro and the Templars.

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Founded in the 12th century, Templar Knights were an organization symbolized by a distinctive red cross against a white background and generally recognized as playing a significant role in the crusades.

The Templars were highly-regarded for their fighting skills and credited with many military successes in the middle ages.

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The crusades originally emanated from Western Europe, with Templar Knights taking several different routes to the middle east over the years. U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT recently published a map of some of those routes.

If that map is to be believed, the Templars may have traveled through Pekovic’s home country of Montenegro as part of their journey to what is now Israel.

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That possible path of crusaders may also explain how the ancient Cetinje Monastery in Montenegro came to allegedly possess, which CNN recently reported, John The Baptist’s mummified right hand.

In no way am I suggesting that Pekovic had any of this in mind when he got inked. I just thought it interesting to examine the relationship between the Templar Knights and his home country of Montenegro after seeing the striking imagery of his tattoo.