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Jayson Tatum’s Tattoos: Everything To Know About His Body Ink

Image Credit: Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Shutterstock

As a superstar NBA player, Jayson Tatum has all eyes on him whenever he sets foot on the basketball court. Fans not only get to witness his incredible athletic skills, but they also get to check out the 24-year-old Boston Celtic’s impressive array of tattoos. The St. Louis native has been adding to his body art collection since he first signed on to play hoops professionally.

Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum has an impressive collection of tattoos. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Shutterstock)

“I always wanted to be like my dad so I always wanted to get tattoos,” Jayson told NBC Sports, recalling how he first got inked on his wrists right before the start of his rookie season in 2017. “And it hurt so bad, I was like I’m never doing it again. But then I had a son so that was my next tattoo. I wanted something to compliment this leg. Then I got a picture of my mom.”

And so on and so forth. “They hurt though, every time, they hurt,” he added.

While Jayson continues to add more ink whenever he has free time or space on his body, HollywoodLife will take a deep dive into the pieces he currently has to find out what they all mean! Keep reading to learn more about Jayson’s tattoos, below!

Mom’s Portrait

Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum (John Locher/AP/Shutterstock)

On his right shin, Jayson embedded a portrait of his mother, Brandy Cole, hugging him when he was merely a toddler. The basketball phenom certainly is a proud mama’s boy!

Father & Son

Jason has an exquisite tattoo of himself wearing his number 0 jersey and a baseball hat backwards as he holds his son, Jayson Tatum Jr. The ink is on his left thigh and has the phrase “Like father, like son” below it.

Inspirational Quote

On his left calf, Jayson has the phrase “I JUST DIDN’T QUIT” inked in bold letters. Beneath the phrase is a pair of checkered flags and the words “Hussle Man” tattooed below the flags. Fans have speculated the ink is a tribute to the late rapper Nipsey Hussle

Kobe Bryant Tribute

In August 2021, Jayson debuted his new tattoo in honor of the late NBA icon Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020. The tattoo is two black mamba snakes (Kobe’s nickname was the Black Mamba) in the shape of the number 24, Kobe’s number for the Lakers.

Jayson and Kobe were buddies, and the Lakers’ legend would often dispense invaluable advice to the young star. “I remember one talk, it might have been after a game, and he was saying that a lot of people won’t understand what you do,” Jayson explained to ABC News. “He said, ‘What I mean by that is, the ones that really want to be great and really want to be special really take that whatever-it-takes mentality.’ He told me it takes sacrifice, because the ultimate question is about how much are you willing to give up to be great.”

Year Of Birth

Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum (Aflo/Shutterstock)

The number 98 is written in gigantic font on Jayson’s left knee. Many contribute the tattoo to being a nod to his birthdate, March 3, 1998.

His Old Jerseys

Jayson wanted a reminder of where he got his start playing hoops, so he inked his high school jersey and his college jersey on his left calf.  The Chaminade jersey with the number 22 represents his high school Chaminade College Preparatory School and the Duke 0 jersey represents his college basketball jersey playing with the Duke Blue Devils.

St. Louis Explosion

On the right thigh is what appears to be a nuclear explosion with the words “St. Louis ’til the world blows.” The ink is most probably a nod to his hometown, St. Louis, MIssouri, and his devotion to it

Hometown Again

In one of his newer tattoos, displayed prominently on his back, Jayson has a huge image of a house, a street sign reading “Archer” and the words “U. City” underneath it. University City is in western St. Louis.

The Big Back Tattoo

Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum (Richard Ellis/UPI/Shutterstock)

Jayson has deep religious beliefs and as a proud Christian decided to honor those with the phrase “GODS WILL” in gigantic font across his upper back. Below it, he had ““Proverbs 3:5-6” stamped, which is a Bible verse that reads, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

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