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Ball Don't Lie

Dirk Nowitzki tattoo means Mavs fan will never again walk alone

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

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The first rule of Your Team Just Won A Championship Club is: You don't talk about Your Team Just Won A Championship Club. The second rule of Your Team Just Won A Championship Club is: Make jokes from 1999, because everyone loves them.

Third rule of Your Team Just Won A Championship Club: As soon as is humanly possible, get a full-color tattoo of the silhouette or your team's star player in a trademark pose.

As you can see, Rob Salsman is a man who follows the rules.

On Monday, one night after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat to win the first NBA championship in franchise history, Salsman took to the Twitter-webs. The Dallas-area sales professional and graduate of the University of North Texas asked a simple question: "who else got their dirk tatt today?"

With that, he dropped the picture you see on the right — Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, his outline tangled up in two shades of Mavs blue and firing one of his signature one-foot jumpers, tattooed for posterity on Salsman's leg.

Salsman later tweeted that he got the piece at Aces Tattoos in Denton, Texas, for a cool $150 — a small price to pay to have a 7-foot German by your side, through thick and thin, for the rest of your days. (Here's another look, if you like-a da feet.)

The image that inspired the tattoo originated as part of a neat art project, undertaken by Akis Yerocostas of the great Sacramento Kings blog Sactown Royalty, to recreate the NBA logo for every team in the Association by swapping in the silhouettes of cities' signature stars for the legendary form of Hall of Famer Jerry West. The Nowitzki logo was one of the first that Yerocostas featured at his NBA Mashups Tumblr, alongside the likes of Kings guard Tyreke Evans, Heat star LeBron James and league MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.

As Dallas continued its postseason run keyed by Nowitzki's lights-out performances, Yerocostas and Chris Jackson, proprietor of the essential dunks-and-highlights blog Get Banged On, collaborated on a "Get Dirked On" T-shirt featuring the reconstituted logo and targeted at Mavs fans like Salsman. A few short weeks and one Larry O'Brien Trophy later, the image has found its way to human flesh.

As you can tell by Yerocostas' response to seeing Salsman's ink, that was not somewhere he expected to see his handiwork. Let it never be said that the NBA Playoffs aren't full of surprises.

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