Once upon a time, the NBA establishment believed that a player with lots of tattoos was a bad seed. It was a case of paranoia and prejudice, with people unfamiliar with other cultures assuming that a great deal of body art was the mark of a thug or hoodlum. Hoop Magazine once even airbrushed away Allen Iverson's ink for a cover, according to Yahoo Sports.
Times have changed quite a bit, to the point where LeBron James and Kevin Durant can embrace tattoos and still serve as two of the league's most marketable players. It's even to the point where coaches can admire a player's particular choice of body art. Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, for instance, sees Renaldo Balkman's eyelid tats as a mark of character.
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