This is an excerpt from a nytimes article on of my favorite NBA personalities, JR. Smith….
On a personal favorite subject.
Covering J. R. Smith: A Knick Talks About His Tattoos
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: December 28, 2012
Q. What was the first tattoo?
A. A picture of me dunking. I was 15. Me and my sister both got one.
Q. Do you keep track of how many tattoos you have?
A. I lost count.
Q. How many did you have before you think you lost count?
A. It was around 70-something.
Q. What does it mean to you to have your family members be a part of your body art?
A. It means everything. That’s why I have them.
Q. Do you have one guy do all the work, or is it different people?
A. It’s different people.
Q. Do you have a general thought process in deciding what to get next?
A. No, I never know what I’m going to get until I get to the tattoo parlor.
Q. How many tattoo parlors do you think you have been in?
A. Probably a thousand. I’ve been to so many where I didn’t get a tattoo. Sometimes I watch or go in to see what’s new. It really depends on how I feel.
Q. Which tattoo took the longest?
A. My back.
Q. How long was that?
A. It took a day to do the outlining. I didn’t finish it until a few years later.
Q. Were you excited when it was done?
A. I wasn’t really excited. I was actually kind of mad because I wanted to do so much more stuff to it, but I had no more space.
Q. Is there one tattoo that you wish you could remove?
A. I love all of my tattoos.
Q. Were you always fascinated with tattoos? When did it start?
A. I actually hated tattoos. I told myself I would never get like this.
Q. When did it all change?
A. Once I got one, I was addicted.
Q. Was the first tattoo painful?
A. No. It’s never been an issue until I went to my legs. There is no fat on my legs, so it hurts more.
Q. What was the best reaction you had from someone about a particular tattoo?
A. My mom cried when she saw her face on my chest.
Q. What does the “Through the Fire” tattoo mean?
A. I’ve been through hell.
Q. What are the dates on your wrists?
A. They are my grandparents’ births and deaths.
Q. What do you remember most about your grandparents?
A. Hard-working. Disciplinarians.
Q. Do you think you have a bigger, or different, fan base compared with most N.B.A. players’ because of your tattoos?
A. Yeah, I think they like the way I look. It’s kind of like a fashion statement now to some people, but it’s a lifestyle to others.
Q. What is it for you?
A. For me, it’s a lifestyle.