I don’t have any tattoos. I’ve never wanted one. No hearts. No crosses. Not my deceased mom or my wife. Not my daughter or newborn son. No inspirational quotes or family crest. It’s not for any moral, religious or spiritual reason or anything based on public perception. It isn’t even because tattoos will probably lead to the end of cute old ladies and grandpas as we know it. I don’t have any tattoos because I’ve never been the person to make long-term decisions or commitments. My viewpoint on things can change, and what was once important to me at one time or may have motivated me to permanently ink something into my skin may look ridiculous to me over time.
The only things that were even relevant to me as an 18-year-old that are still passions of mine now are sweet tea, cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream, and Chinese food buffets. Unfortunately, my dedication to those won’t lead me to make room on my arm for their occupancy. With that being said, there are several reasons why people do decide to get tattoos, and this edition of Noise From The Sain Asylum is not about why someone should or shouldn’t get them. It’s about spotlighting how the Grizzlies organization came up with a brilliant idea to have a Neck Tattoo Giveaway night on February 21 against the Los Angeles Clippers to honor James Johnson.
As everyone in Grizz Nation is well aware of, James Johnson has a now-famous tattoo of the name of his son, Naymin inked across his neck. Naymin was born prematurely and Johnson says that his son played a major influence for him turning his life around, rededicating his commitment to the game, and furthermore redeeming himself as not only a basketball player but as a man and a father. My newborn son was also born prematurely, and I can definitely say that I relate to his sense of urgency regardless of my personal feeling about tattoos for myself. The tattoo surely represents so much to him.
A father’s anxiety over a child in the neo-natal intensive care unit, staying weeks in the hospital before he can be released and fighting for his life. The disappointment of seeing your once lottery pick career end after your rookie deal and lead you to the NBADL after failed seasons on the court, weight issues, and off the court struggles. The tattoo is more than just some hot ink — it’s a symbol of the crossroad of his road to glory. A road that has led him to the Memphis Grizzlies at the present time. A team that was in desperate need of a shot in the arm at the time of his arrival.
James Johnson has provided that, not just with tattoos, but also with his effort and intensity on both ends of the floor. He instantly has become a fan favorite and we all love to see his put back dunks, athletic drives to the basket and his insane blocks of jump shots, which happens what feels like more than humanly possible.
We all love James Johnson. We all want to see him in a Grizz uniform next season, and obviously, so does the front office of this organization. That’s why the upcoming neck tattoo giveaway is such a brilliant move. What better way to show a player that was in the NBADL not even 3 months ago that he matters to your team than to have a giveaway night in his honor?
With Johnson being an unrestricted free agent this summer we need to do all that we can to have the man of many nicknames lean towards signing with the home team instead of entertaining offers from other teams that may extend a deal to him that may exceed what we can do and still stay under the infamous luxury tax line. The move is well calculated and very proactive. It says we want you here, and you are more than just a player that we found in the D-League. Its says that we have long term plans for James Johnson and we want him to grow and develop and live up to the expectations that he had coming out of college in a Grizz uniform. So again I tip my hat to all those who put their heads together to make this night happen and kudos to all that will wear their tattoos proudly to support our Grizz and mainly James Johnson. Just make sure you remember to wash it off before you head out to that important business meeting at work the next morning!