Good news, everybody: One member of our human race has finally found an appropriate way to express our shared love for Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva. And all it cost him was his left arm, a bunch of dollars and (at least) a couple of hours.
Behold: Charlie Villanueva is a tattoo now.
Looks great. (Image via detroitbadboys.com)
We have the Fox Sports Detroit broadcast of the Pistons' Sunday win over the Boston Celtics to thank for informing the world of the Instagrammed photo; we have "Jacob30" at Pistons blog Detroit Bad Boys to thank for bringing the image above to the Internet at large, and DBB OG Matt Watson to thank for properly highlighting what is, without a doubt, one of the oddest NBA tattoos we've ever seen.
I mean, sure, we've seen our fair share of roundball-related ink before, but this one feels a little different. Most such skin-art pieces tend to be either tributes to all-time performers, such as a two-thirds-of-the-back salute to Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman, or lower-leg prints of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki.
Others pay homage to local favorites, like this Utah Jazz fan's amazing upper-arm appreciation of longtime coach Jerry Sloan and his love of tractors, this Oklahoma City Thunder fan's full-arm tribute to James Harden (which he might be regretting right now), this New York Knicks fan's remembrance of John Starks' "The Dunk" or these Lithuanian twins branding themselves with the autograph of countryman/Toronto Raptors rookie Jonas Valanciunas. And, of course, some are motivated by money, like one fan's indelible reminder of Charles Barkley kissing Dick Bavetta, or (possibly alcohol-fueled) promises to celebrate team achievements, like this Dallas Mavericks fan's rear-end recognition of Dirk representing the Mavs' 2010 championship run.
This, though, isn't really any of those things. Villanueva's decidedly not an all-timer, he's not especially beloved by any particular fan base, and the recasting of a standard media-day-type pose doesn't represent some grand accomplishment for a Pistons team that's been pretty terrible ever since he and Ben Gordon came to town in what some Pistons fans feel was the biggest disappointment in franchise history. (Remember, this is a franchise that also drafted Darko Milicic over Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.) This is just a very big picture of a very big guy who's hovered right around whelming — sometimes over on offense, usually under on defense — throughout an eight-year NBA career, seemingly undertaken solely out of love for a guy who, when he's not getting insulted by Kevin Garnett, getting into fights, boxing with beat writers or knocking down tiny point guards, doesn't really enter into our collective consciousness for any particular reason.
Which leads me to believe one of three things: Either our intrepid tattoo-receiver really has a pure and chaste love for the 28-year-old Queens product's outside-in game, he got offered a lot of money to get this on a dare, or he drank a lot of high-powered spirits before plopping down in an artist's chair. If it's the first, then, well, carry on, wayward son; I don't quite get your trip, but I respect your freedom to take it. If it's either of the latter two, though ... well, I'm not sure how the folks at "Tattoo Nightmares" are going to be able to cover up that much color.
Best of luck, though, and for your sake, I guess I hope the Pistons re-up Villanueva for a long-term deal after next season; it wouldn't really be in the team's best interests, but at least it'll keep your left arm (kind of) relevant.
Hat-tip to Nicholas Schwartz at BuzzFeed Sports, which rhymes.