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Tattoos in the NBA are often discussed and documented. With plenty of skin on display in the league, players' art work can take center stage. With Ty Lawson proclaiming the best tattoos on the team belonging to, "Wilson by far." I went in search of Mr. Chandler and his ink ...
You can see from the below video, made back in 2007 when Chandler was a rookie, that Wilson has undergone many hours in a tattoo chair over the last six years. I caught up with him after Nuggets practice and asked him to pick out five of his favorite tattoos with a little explanation behind each one.
What is your favorite tattoo?
Wilson Chandler: My daughter's portrait and her name and my grandma's name.
(Those tattoos are on the front of Wilson's neck)
What was your first tattoo and how old were you when you got it?
Wilson Chandler: The first tattoo that I got was a cross, that's almost mandatory for your first tattoo, I got a cross with a basketball in the middle and around it it says God Bless This Game. I was like 16 or 17 years-old.
Did your family object to you getting tattoos?
WC: No, not at all. When I started getting a lot - then I started getting a rough time, but the first couple were no big deal.
What got you interested in wanting to get tattooed in the first place?
WC: Allen Iverson, Tupac [Shakur], guys I used to watch play basketball and guys I used to listen to their music.
Have you drawn any of your own tattoos? Do you like to draw?
WC: No, I'm not a good drawer.
Do you get tattoos during the season?
WC: Not this year, but I had my back done during the season and my right sleeve done during the season. And I was getting my leg done when I was in China.
Did you ever have issues during games with the fresh ink?
WC: Just with people smacking them and stuff like that.
How soon have you been tattooed before you played or practiced?
WC: The day before.
Ouch, that's pretty fresh!
WC: Oh yeah, yes.
Have you ever gone to get tattoos with teammates?
Did you get tattooed with Harrington in New York and Denver?
WC: Yes, both places.
Do you have a specific tattoo artist?
WC: Yes, this guy named Reggie Tatz. He's in New York.
Does he ever fly out to Colorado to tattoo you?
WC: Yeah, he flies out, brings everything, and sets up at the house.
Most painful areas you've had tattooed?
WC: Maybe my shin, inside my bicep, the elbow is really intense, and the hands, too.
What's your estimated time in a tattoo chair?
WC: Man, a couple hundred hours.
What do you like to do while getting tattooed?
WC: I like to watch TV, listen to music, or talk to my friends - to try to keep my mind off of things.
Have you ever wanted to get the traditional tattoo style (Tebori)?
WC: No, I'm good on that. That sounds painful.
Ok, let's get into Chandler's five favorite tattoos - in no particular order.
1.) Unstoppable Juggernaut - back piece:
WC: I was a real big fan of X-men. Growing up I used to watch it a lot. I was trying to think of a great tattoo that I could get and mix it in with basketball. At first, I was thinking Wolverine. The idea [of the Juggernaut] came from my tattoo artist. This was when I was healthy and before all the surgeries; I used to go to the rack pretty hard. He was like, "You should get the Juggernaut" because they called me Unstoppable Juggernaut, so I thought that'd be kind of cool. That's how that whole thing came about. I was maybe like 21 or 22 [years-old].
2.) SlowBucks - inside left bicep:
WC: I got that one about two years ago; the year we got traded. Two of my closest friends started a media line and clothing line, so I got that because we do business together and we are friends.
3.) Eazy-E and N.W.A - front of left shoulder/chest:
WC: I grew up with my Grandma and my uncles and aunts are like my brothers and sisters. One of my uncles used to listen to N.W.A all the time. I used to look up to him, he was like my hero and I used to always go in his room and listen to Eazy-E and N.W.A. I used to wear the shades, the hats, and the cut off gloves [like Eazy-E]. I always liked Eazy-E, he was my favorite [member of] N.W.A. Growing up in Michigan a lot of people used to listen to West Coast music. When I was a kid it was like N.W.A and Scarface.
4.) He-Man - inside right bicep:
WC: I like cartoons like that. He-Man and Space Ghost, I liked that type of stuff [growing up] and thought it'd be pretty cool to get. I had He-Man action figures and the castle Grayskull. I still watch all those cartoons. There is one channel late at night that has mad old cartoons on like Gigantor, Voltron, and stuff like that. I used to watch Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon, the movie was wack, but the cartoon was really good and then it disappeared off Nickelodeon.
5.) Cartoon collage - lower left leg:
WC: It's not finished, I still have a couple characters I'm missing. It's some of my favorite cartoons like Ren and Stimpy, Johnny Bravo, South Park, Family Guy, Beavis and Butt-Head, Squidbillies, and stuff like that; just funny cartoons.
Do you have plans to get more tattoos?
WC: I have a lot of unfinished tattoos, so I'll probably work on those. I have about 20 or 30 that are not finished. They are mostly on my legs though and I will probably redo my hands.
Have you ever had tattoo removal done?
WC: I thought about it, but it looks painful. I've seen somebody have it done before.
Like how 50-Cent got a lot of his tattoos removed to work in the movies?
WC: I would never do that, I love my tattoos.
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