Friday, December 3, 2010

NBA Tattoo Manifesto Installment 2: Kenyon Martin

Good news for fans of the NBA Tattoo Manifesto - the first installment about Marquis Daniels is the highest-viewed post on The Daily Anything thus far (just beating out my Claymation Christmas post).  This is largely the result of hits I got from links on two Boston Celtics blogs: CelticsBlog and CelticsLife.  Thanks to those guys for the extra traffic.

Name: Kenyon Martin

Team: Denver Nuggets
Position: Power Forward
College: Cincinnati

Height: 6'9"
Weight: 240 lbs.

Moving on with the Manifesto, today we focus on Kenyon Martin.  Martin was the #1 overall draft pick in 2000 despite having broken his leg during the Conference USA Tournament in his senior season with the Cincinnati Bearcats.  He was drafted by the New Jersey Nets, then traded after the 2003-2004 season to the Denver Nuggets. 

My favorite Kenyon Martin fact: he attended Bryan Adams High School.  (I don't care if its not the same Bryan Adams; its spelled the same way and I think its funny.)

To the tattoos:

Exhibit #1: Lips
Location: Neck

I love neck tattoos.  If a tattoo is a commitment, then a neck tattoo is a lifestyle.  By getting a neck tattoo, a player is usually trying to send a message about who he is, where he's from, or how he's trying to live his life.  In the case of most Denver Nuggets, the message would be "thug", but not necessarily for Kenyon Martin.

In the case of Kenyon Martin's Lips tattoo (above), he was going for the same message that someone is going for when they get their girlfriend's name tattooed on their arm.  At the time that Kenyon got the tattoo, he was dating hip-hop artist Trina.  Those are her lips tattooed on the side of Martin's neck.  He must have thought that their love would be forever, but as usually happens when you get this type of love memento, the couple broke up.  Imagine that.

In the time since, Martin has come to regret getting the tattoo on his neck.  In lieu of the tribute to his ex-girlfriend, Kenyon got it re-inked, and turned it into a crown (left).   

Exhibit #2: "Flesh of My Flesh ..."
Location: Upper Right Arm

Martin takes an interesting approach to celebrating the life of his baby boy - he got the child's face tattooed on his upper right arm.  A beautiful gesture upon first glance, but it does seem a bit surreal with the DMX lyrics "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood" surrounding the baby's face.  If I was going to choose some DMX lyrics, I would have gone with "Just cause I love my niggas, I shed blood for my niggas."  That's just me.

My least favorite part about this tattoo is that Kenyon used it to cover up a scar that he had on his arm, making it look like the baby has an enormous booger coming out of his nose.

Exhibit #3: "I Shall Fear No Man But God"
Location: Back

I like this tattoo ... except the whole part where the message doesn't make any sense.  Since God is by definition not a man, I don't really know where Kenyan was going with this one.  I searched for the phrase under bible verses, but couldn't find anything.  The closest thing I found was a lyric from a Tupac Shakur song called "So Many Tears".

I've said it a million times: If its good enough for Tupac, its good enough for me.