Offseason Tat Report
The big offseason tat news, not surprisingly, comes from Gil. Here's the report.
1) A large tiger on his chest was filled in with color. He got the tiger when he first entered the NBA and felt snubbed by his second-round slot, "and I just felt I got snubbed a little bit more during my career so I just wanted to add some more to it," he said.
And why a tiger in the first place?
"That's what I am when I come out and play, I'm just a fierce tiger," he said. "The king of the jungle."
Don't tell the lion, but he's been totally demoted.
2) Outlining his chest on left and right, Gil got the words "My Pain My Gain." The entire right side of his chest is dotted vertically with tears (i.e. pain). The entire right side is dotted vertically with stars (i.e. gain).
3) On his belly, the words "Zero to Hero."
(Commentary: "The artwork is phenomenal," Antawn Jamison said. "You know, I'm just one of those cats, I don't understand why you'd want to do your body like that.")
4) Gil wasn't sure if he's got the best tats on the team, but "I got the ones that hurt the most," he said. "I had my pains."
5) Will his teammates copy the chest tat? Nah. Too much pain.
"I couldn't do it, me personally, but he took it," said DeShawn Stevenson, who was present at the creation. (Of the tats, not the world.)
6) The artwork was actually done by Stevenson's "dude" from Orlando. They flew him up to D.C. to do the work at Gil's house.
"It's a team," Stevenson said, "so we do things together."
You see, everyone was talking about team chemistry today, but this is true chemistry; getting stabbed by needles filled with ink together in the offseason, even with the new guys. It's sweet, really. Although I'd like to see them running marathons or riding tandem bicycles together next summer.
7) Stevenson, who is covered with ink, got some new stuff as well. He has a neck tat, although not a bottom-of-the-neck one like Jeffrey's on "Project Runway." Stevenson's is just a little rectangular on the left side of the neck, and it's basically a welcome to Fresno sign; it says "Fresno City Limits," and has the city population listed underneath, although the population is sort of hard to make out. He also got some dice on both shoulders, and the words "Against All Odds."
(What do you do if you're from Kalamazoo? Or from Chattanooga? Or Albuquerque? I guess you need a bigger neck. Paging Frank Thomas. Did you see Frank almost get thrown out at first on that hit into right field? Mark Brunell would have been leisurely removing his batting gloves by the time Thomas arrived.)
8) Antonio Daniels might stay at four tats, but he might add a fifth in honor of his daughter Jada, who recently had her first birthday.
9) Roger Mason Jr. wants to get a second tattoo in honor of his deceased father, but he's going to wait until he makes the roster. "Hopefully," he said, correcting himself. That's confidence, though; planning out which tattoo to get on day one of training camp.
10) Caron Butler wanted to get a tattoo on his back in honor of a deceased friend this summer, but he ran out of time.
11) Jamison is going in the opposite direction. In junior high he got his name in some cheesy flames on his left biceps, but it's all faded out and he's getting ready to remove it. That will leave his body empty.
"Man, I'm too old," he said. "You know, the mistakes you wish you had never done when you was a child, when you was younger? That's the one mistake I wish I'd never done."
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