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Gilbert Arenas

NBA Tattoo Power Rankings

       As anyone who’s ever watched an NBA game can attest, ink is a popular past time for players in L. While it’s hard to replace Reggie Miller’s stomach tattoo, which is just waiting to be accompanied by a pierced belly button, or Starbury’s Tyson-esque face too, there is currently a lot of tattooed talent in the NBA today. Inspired by Jason Terry’s brand new Celtics championship tattoo, which is clearly a desperate attempt to recreate the Larry O’Brien trophy tat that predicted a Mavericks title, we at GREAT MAMBINO decided to create an inaugural All-NBA Tattoo Power Rankings.

While diving into the various ink acquired around the league, there were a lot of commonalities and trends. Hands down, the most common tattoos feature a basketball – sometimes being played with by an angel, being set on fire, or accompanied by one’s roots (like home state or family members). NBA players are also a surprisingly sentimental group, with many tattoos serving in memory of close friends and loved ones. When it comes to sleeves, there are too many guys with complete ones to sort through, so we’ll move on.

Examining the tattoos of the various NBA players was kind of a nostalgic exercise. Who doesn’t remember where they were the first time they saw DeShawn Stevenson’s Abraham Lincoln neck tattoo or like to crack jokes at K-Mart’s neck tattoo? Although we all love strolling down memory lane, it’s time to get down to it. What are the top 10 most aggressive tattoos in the NBA?

1. Marquis DanielsOnly the Strong Survive.” With as much ink as there is in the NBA, it was surprising how quickly (and convincingly) Marquis Daniels eliminated the competition. However, a tattoo this morbid and graphic, depicting a man shooting himself in the face with a shotgun by pulling the trigger with his toe, really had no peers. Congratulations, Marquis!

2. Al HarringtonLifted by an Angel.” Al Harrington had a nice little resurgence this season in the NBA and it’s nice to see that his ink has kept up with his play on the court. His bizarre tattoo of himself with a cape being lifted by an angel is either so meta that it goes above the heads of us mere mortals or is completely insane.

3. Kenyon MartinKissed by a Rose on the Neck.” In an ode to a classic that has haunted the league for years, we have to give K-Mart the proper respect. It takes a certain kind of man to have the kind of self confidence required to get a big set of lip marks on their neck in a place where they’ll be seen for the rest of their lives. And K-Mart is that kind of man.

4. DeShawn StevensonAbe Lincoln.” Another all-time classic and one of the most inexplicable tattoos in the League, DeShawn decided to commemorate the Great Emancipator, our nation’s 16th president. DeShawn’s infamous P tattoo on his face merits honorable mention consideration, but we decided in favor of Abe Lincoln as his most deserving ink. Stay crazy, Mr. Stevenson.

5. AK-47Wings of a Freak.” Accompanying the already frightening and bird-like features of Andre Kirilenko is a tough task, but this back tattoo certainly seems to do the trick. Is it a dragon? A run of the mill flying lizard? Or something more sinister entirely? We’re not sure but it’s certainly one of our favorite pieces of ink flying around the league.

6. Chris AndersenFreebird’s Neck.” Perhaps the most completionist tattoo fan in the League, Chris “Birdman” Andersen’s multi-colored celebration of both his


State of Laker Nation: We Need Agent Zero

Showtime has turned into Slowtime.

What was once a cute joke after the first few games of the regular season has rapidly turned into a very stark reality for the Lakers. After seeing this team play 15 games, and including a miserable 7 point quarter against the Dallas Mavericks the other night, I realize that the Show has three very glaring flaws:

1. They are one of the slowest teams in the league

It’s not just my eyes as an observer that are telling the story; the statistics back it up as well. The Lakers average one of the lowest amounts of possessions per game, even though they are the best rebounding team in the league. What this means is that despite the fact that the Lakers are getting back the ball more than anyone else, the pace that they execute their offense at eats so much clock that no amount of rebounding can increase their possessions. Meanwhile, on the fast break, they’re 26th in points scored. This team gets most of its points in a half-court set, with designed plays rather than just making it up after a quick steal or rebound.

The reasoning behind all of this is relatively simple: they are really old and they do not have a traditional point guard running the offense. Without the legs and the personnel to begin breaks and direct traffic, it’s difficult for a team to get up and down the floor at the type of fast pace that the Los Angeles crowd is used to seeing.

Luckily for the Lakers, they have one of the top defenses in the league, and that slow, plodding offense I was just talking about is one of the most steady and efficient ones running.

2. Bench Scoring

Steve Blakers, Metta World Peace, Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy and Devin Ebanks all bring great rebounding, tons of toughness and gritty defense to the floor whenever they’re called on, but unfortunately for this motley crew of white Americans, Metta and Devin, they just can’t put the ball in the hoop. The Lakers are dead last in bench scoring, with Steve Blakers leading the pack at 7.3 points per game. Unlike previous years when Shannon brown and Lamar Odom could fill it up at a moment’s notice, LA consistently has moments where when one or two of the Bryant-Gasol-Bynum trio is off the floor, and the offense just stops. No other guy on this team can get his own shot, and more importantly, there isn’t a facilitator good enough to make the other 11 Lakers look competent.

3. 3-Point Shooting

What I see as the most glaring flaw is that the Lakers can’t hit a shot from downtown. They are the worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA.

Luckily for the Lakers, there might be a singular fix to their problems that would be relatively easy to pull off.

Agent Zero.

Gilbert Arenas is a free agent, and by all accounts is very ready and willing to go back to work. Though no words has arisen from the Arenas camp since before Christmas, the last unofficial statement read that his hometown Los Angeles Lakers were one of the teams he most desired to play for.

Even with knee injuries that have limited him to 117 games in the last 4 seasons, Arenas showed last year that he still can play at a quick pace, and lead an offense. His shooting percentage was down to 37%, though as a career 42% guy, Gil has never been the type of guy you were looking at to convert high efficiency shots every time. Still, he played over 25 minutes in 70 games, scoring 11 points, dishing 4 assists and though somewhat detached, did not look washed up at age 29.

No matter what his situation, Gilbert Arenas has always been synonymous with the term instant offense. Coming off the bench for the Lakers, Gil would shore up second … Read more...