clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The wisdom of Wilson Chandler, from Tattoo to Twitter...

New, comments
Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Wilson Chandler doesn’t tweet that much, doesn’t say much but when he does, it usually speaks to who he is an athlete, as a man. Like the tattoos that cover his body, his choice of words is thoughtful.

In recent weeks, he’s spoken simply but well. As we’ve noted, he let Kendrick Perkins know what he thought about Perk’s attacks on Kyrie Irving.

He’s also had a lot to say about Black Lives Matter protests, often in only a few words...

And the role of the NBA and its players in the context of the protests.

Chandler being outspoken is nothing new. The Michigan native’s body is a tableau of his thoughts and hopes, as Body Art Guru noted back when he was in Denver.

For 17 years, Chandler has been adding piece after piece to his “collection” and now he is almost completely covered! The 33-year-old veteran has shown his love for tattoos —and what they can express —ever since he was drafted in 2007 by the Knicks. (Here’s a video of him as a rookie in 2007, his tattoos than still a work in progress.)

His choice of tattoo artistry and tweets also shows an evolution ... from personal to professional to political.

There is no denying that Chandler’s talent as a player helps him stand out … but as for his tattoos are the biggest reason why you can’t help but notice him. In honor of the time (and pain) it took Wilson Chandler to “post” all of his tattoos so far, we did research into at some of his MUST SEE pieces and the meanings behind them.

To start off, we revisited Chandler’s first ever tattoo. Wilson Chandler was 16 years old when he got a cross done on his right arm. It may sound like a simple tattoo, but it wasn’t.

In an interview with Nate Timmons, a Denver writer, Chandler said “The first tattoo that I got was a cross, that’s almost mandatory for your first tattoo.” For Christians, it is almost mandatory that the first tattoo HAS to be a cross. Like many around the world, religion plays an important role Wilson Chandler’s life. The cross has a basketball inside of it along with the words, “God Bless This Game.”

One of Chandler’s many intriguing tattoos stretches from his neck to his chest. As he grew older, family became increasingly important. This piece is a portrait of his daughter as a toddler. Around it is also his grandmother’s name. Growing up in Benton Harbor, Michigan his grandmother helped raise him to become who he is today. For Wilson, his daughter and grandmother are the alpha and omega of his family.

“I love my tattoos, especially my daughter’s portrait, her name, and my grandma’s name are my favorite tattoos,” he told Denver Stiffs, our SB Nation sister site...

His religion... his family ... and his game.

The biggest piece Wilson Chandler has is about how he sees himself. Big pieces like this must come with greater meaning. So that is exactly what happened. When Chandler was 21 or 22 years old, he spoke to his tattoo artist Reggie Tatz on what he should get on his back. Only two words came to mind.

“Unstoppable Juggernaut.”

In Marvel, the Juggernaut is one of the strongest beings to ever walk the Earth because of his incredible strength. Reggie suggested getting the Juggernaut palming a ball with the word “Unstoppable” on top. The rest was history. What made the idea even better was the fact that Chandler wanted to have that same presence on the court too.

Some of his tattoos are just for fun, like those of Beavis and Butthead, Ren and Stimpy and South Park on his legs or a tribute to a favorite artist, like Easy E and NWA on his left shoulder.

His more recent tattoos are things that go toward his evolution as a man. Covering one stretch of his chest are the Tupac Shakur’s lyrics: God Bless The Child That Can Hold His Own. Tupac’s tattoos, in fact, inspired him ... as did those of Allen Iverson.

Since his days in Denver, there hasn’t been much written about his latest body art additions, if indeed there are any. He said back then that he had 20 or 30 unfinished tattoos! Now, he’s getting better known for his social media offerings. They may have made some people uncomfortable, like the one he posted the day after George Floyd’s murder, but they’re the product of who he is, where he’s been, what he’s seen...

Wilson Chandler understands it’s ALL about expressing yourself and being unique in doing so...

Maybe when you’ve spend hundreds of hours in a tattoo artist’s chair, you learn that.