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Yes, Kevin Durant has tats — and so what?

by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 24, 2011

The tat is out of the bag.

Kevin Durant is not who you thought he was.

The Oklahoma City Thunder star with the squeaky clean image is tatted up.

That's right, Durant has tattoos — lots of them.

But even Durant's biggest fans are learning, along with the rest of the basketball world, that Durant's torso is filled with ink.

A picture of a shirtless Durant during his most recent visit to China is making the rounds on the Internet. The image, showing a sweaty Durant standing with both hands on his hips, reveals just about all of the two-time scoring champ's tats. They cover his entire chest and stomach, stopping just before the point of protruding from his No. 35 jersey when he's on the court.

Some have described the placement as “business tattoos,” meaning one of the league's rising stars isn't jeopardizing his marketability by marking up his limbs. The truth is that's precisely what Durant has done. He's strategically stained his skin only in areas where companies and consumers could never spot his growing mural of body art.

Durant confirmed the deliberate placement of his designs following a practice in early May when the Thunder was in a Western Conference semifinals series with Memphis. A day earlier on Twitter, I had verified a reader's query as to whether the images on Durant's chest from a previous photo were real. It sparked shock among my “followers” and led to a series of subsequent questions.

Within minutes, the social networking conversation had made its way to Durant, who happened to be live streaming a recording session from his in-home music studio. Durant immediately checked his phone on the broadcast and told viewers he does indeed have tattoos before adding, “so what?”

At practice the next day, Durant stopped me and wondered why so many fans seemed to care that he had tattoos. Near the end of our brief chat about the matter, I asked Durant when he got his ink and if he had purposely gotten it in places that would go unnoticed. The soft-spoken star rarely wanted to discuss his tattoos last season, and what essentially was a one-word response of “recently” followed by a head nod signaled his desire to return to his shell on the subject.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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