After a rough start in LA with the Lakers, Lonzo Ball now throws a tire at Zion for the New Orleans Pelicans as part of one of the NBA’s most exciting teams. Check out the rising NBA star’s ink collection and find out what those tattoos mean to him.
As tattoos continue to gain popularity among both the elderly and young, many professional athletes have jumped on the bandwagon. From Shaq to LeBron, many players in the NBA proudly display their ink, both on and off the court. One player who has recently gained attention for his bold ink strokes is point guard Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Born in Los Angeles, Ball was drafted by the LA Lakers as a freshman at UCLA and has since made a name for himself on the hardwood. Having recently moved to New Orleans, Ball continues to set himself apart with his hard work and graceful moves, although fans still don’t miss his extensive tattoo collection.
Inspired by photo-realistic work and especially prominent black influencers, Lonzo’s entire sleeve incorporates several portraits as well as many scripted works, almost entirely accomplished with black and gray.
Here we take a look at some of Zo’s most striking and interesting designs.
Lonzo uses his new tattoo collection to showcase the various influencers who have had a profound impact on his life and worldview. The leaders of the Civil Rights movement are proudly displayed in the new uniform.
1. Malcolm X
One of the most divisive figures in the Civil Rights movement, Malcolm X’s role in the fight for racial equality is undeniable, and Lonzo portrays the revolutionary figure’s dark gray image on left arm, above the elbow.
2. Barack Obama
Like the rest of the Ball sleeve, Obama ink is used in clean, black and gray ink. Tattoo artist Butcher — a Kiwi known for his realistic tattoos of athletes in motion — adopts a portraiture approach. While Obama is a more modern figure than the other individuals featured in Ball’s work, the 44th President of the United States is clearly a descendant of the Civil Rights Movement.
3. Martin Luther King Jr.
Located on his left shoulder, above his portrait sleeve, Ball has an image of the venerable Dr. King printed in clean black and gray. Applied by sought-after tattoo artist Steve Butcher, this piece has a photo-realistic approach that perfectly captures the importance King places on NBA Young Players.
4. Rosa . Park
Another important figure in the struggle for African American Civil Liberties in the 1960s, Rosa Parks’ image is proudly displayed on the inside of Ball’s arm. Once again, a photo-realistic approach is taken in this piece and the smallest details of Mrs. Parks’ face are captured perfectly in the tattoo.
5. Harriet Tubman
Resting on his inner wrist, just below Rosa Parks, is another black and gray portrait, this one of Harriet Tubman. Responsible for saving hundreds of black slaves and leading them to freedom at the risk of her own life and liberty, Tubman was one of the first heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.
6. Jackie Robinson
As part of his Butcher engraved left arm montage, Ball features the iconic barrier-breaking baseball player Jackie Robinson.
“The Marathon Continues”
Located above the right shoulder and completing the sleeve, this script summarizes Lonzo’s feelings about the ongoing fight for equal rights for African Americans. While the prominent black leaders at his right hand fought to improve the lot of African Americans in America, the fight was not over, which is why the words “ The Marathon Continues” runs across the top of his sleeve tattoo.
Located on the bottom of the left sleeve, Ball has a small lettering thread that wraps around the wrist. “Driven by Jesus Devotion to the Game” perfectly summarizes his deep faith and the profound role basketball plays in his life.
On Lonzo’s right wrist there are more completed scenarios. “Born to Ball Because of Him” is another tribute to his faith and his calling to the basketball court, though both parts of the script have been covered up by other works.
But your hands are praying
Located on his left elbow, Lonzo has a classic tattoo of hands clasped in prayer. Once again, Ball uses black and gray ink to commemorate the profound role faith played in his life.
Angel dribbles the ball
Another tribute to his faith and sport, and another work from Isaiah Negrete, this one is a delight. Using a black and gray approach, the talented artist perfectly created an image of an angel dribbling a basketball on Lonzo’s right forearm.
Big Baller brand tattoo and cover-up
Started by his father, LaVar, Big Baller Brand designs shoes, clothing and apparel. Lonzo is one of their key endorsements. Zo originally got a Big Baller Brand tattoo when he arrived in the NBA.
The large portion of the ball was later covered up, after Lonzo first wore the band on the Big Baller Tattoo during a game against the Warriors. He’s been chasing for a while with a wristband and sports band to shield it during the NBA’s crackdown.
At the time, League spokesman Mike Bass said of Ball – and also Cavs guard JR Smith’s Supreme logo tattoo – that branded tattoos must be covered because:
“NBA regulations prohibit players from displaying any commercial logos or company insignia on their bodies or in their hair.”
It wasn’t just the league that forced Lonzo to change. His decision to tattoo the logo was also partly due to the exposure of a multi-million dollar embezzlement scheme involving former Ball family advisor Alan Foster. Lonzo severed ties with the brand.
Covering the BBB tattoo on his forearm, Lonzo has two red dice. The odd shape and raw approach give this piece an amateurish feel. It is one of Ball’s few colored pieces.
Born 2 balls
While basketball is central to his life, Lonzo still makes time for his other passion: music. Tattooed on the outside of his right forearm, Lonzo has cursive writing that reads “Born 2 Ball” with a number separating words smeared in bold black ink. This is the name of his first mixing tape and was adopted by the famous tattoo artist Isaiah Negrete.
Another reference to his father’s apparel company, Lonzo took the badge for his first autographed shoe printed on his right arm on the outer forearm.
Area code 909
The area code for the region of California where Lonzo was born and raised, his tattoo “909” is applied in stylized writing on a length of parchment on the right side, inside the forearm.
Heaven’s Gate & Writing
On the top of his right sleeve, on the shoulder, is a black and gray engraving of pearl portals, complete with sunbeams and fluffy clouds. Below this, applied in clear Old English script, is Samuel L. Jackson’s famous Bible verse from Pulp Fiction.
“Fear of God”
Located on the inner portion of the left bicep, Lonzo has applied the text in bold black ink, while some red shading enhances the composition and ties the piece to the rest of the sleeve.
Lonzo Ball tattoo will soon be combined with Lamelo Ball tattoo. The middle brother of the Ball family, Lamelo will join the ranks of NBA players as the top choice for the 2020/21 season. With his older brothers in the league, youngest brother LiAngelo is the only member of the Ball family without a shot at the NBA, and there’s still a chance for him!
Source: Lonzo Ball’s Tattoos and What They Mean – [2022 Celebrity Ink Guide] – Tekmonk Bio, Lonzo Ball’s Tattoos and What They Mean – [2022 Celebrity Ink Guide] – KOLNetworth, Lonzo Ball’s Tattoos and What They Mean – [2022 Celebrity Ink Guide] – Blogtomoney