DeAndre Jordan’s Ink

“Turn up the lights in here baby, extra bright I want y’all to see this…”

Sure, maybe when DeAndre Jordan tweeted this line in early December he meant nothing by it; it was probably just an online fist bump to Kanye‘s joint, “All Of The Lights.” But since the 22-year-old and former 2008 second-round pick slid into the starting frontcourt for the Los Angeles Clippers nine games into the season, he’s never shined brighter.

Alongside his L.A. bash brother Blake Griffin, Jordan has become one of the game’s highest risers above the rim and finished the regular season ranked amongst the league leaders in dunks per game. In only his third season, DJ put up career highs across the board and has quickly become the Clips’ defensive enforcer in the paint. But unlike his best friend Griffin, Jordan has also elevated his tattoo game to rival that of any player on the West Coast.

As a 17-year-old, DJ inked his first tat in his hometown of Houston and has continued to build on his collection ever since. And even though he admittedly wants to slow down his tattoo game in the future, there are still plans to modify and expand his extensive artwork. If tattoos tell a story, Jordan’s is one of dedication, humility and fun – all traits analogous with the 6-11 team comedian. Interesting, because his favorite NBA ink bearer is none other than the Birdman himself, Denver Nuggets forward Chris Andersen. And although DJ has no plans to follow in the Bird’s neck-tatted footprints, his work deserves a light of its own.

The ‘H’ is for my hometown of Houston.

“Lion’s Head”
The lion was one of my first ones when I first started getting tattooed. Strong leaders have a lot of courage and heart, things like that, so I got that one.

“Matthew 5:4-5”
‘Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the Earth.’ It’s kind of self-explanatory. I mean I see a lot of writing and things like that, that I can relate to and I’m not like, ‘Oh, I should get it tattooed on me,’ but I just kind of like them so much that I want to get it.

The basketball and the cross has my mom and brother’s names on it and that was the first (tattoo I got). It hurt really bad. I remember I had a grey muscle shirt on and it was drenched (in sweat) when I was done.

It says, ‘Don’t gain the world and lose your soul.’ It’s a Bob Marley quote. It’s a circle, but it’s half a skull and half the Earth. I just didn’t want to get caught up in materialistic things and forget who I am and where I come from.

“The Serenity Prayer”
This is my grandmother’s favorite right here: The Serenity Prayer.

“Philippians 4:13”
I like that one a lot. It really didn’t hurt that bad to be honest. I like that one a lot though; it’s probably one of my favorites.

It’s my grandma’s face. I knew that I was going to get something about her right here (abdomen), but I didn’t know whether it was going to be some roman numerals of her birthday or something. She’s like my right hand man; she’s always there for me.

It stands for ‘God Watch Over Me.’

I wrote this – I got it before the Draft (in ’08). I was just kind of sitting around and was like, man I wanna get a tattoo. Because I always have writing of what other people say, so I wanted to write something for myself. It’s kind of like, I’m blessed to have the talents that I do and I’m going to dedicate myself and sacrifice myself to my talents and just thank God for everything that he’s given me.

My grandpa always tells me, ‘don’t take wooden nickels.’ Kind of like, don’t let anybody mess you over, don’t let anybody pull the wool over your eyes, things like that.

(I have) my street that I grew up on in Houston.

My little cousin who passed, he played baseball and he was young, he was like six. And he would always be like, ‘D, when you go to the NBA, I want to go to all your games.’ And then he passed, so I kind of got that (piece) in memory of him. His name was Ethan and that was my little man there.

Follow Jack on Twitter at @jensenjack.

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