Jeff Passan:

Ball Don't Lie

Kevin Durant’s giant back tattoo is finished, may (or may not) include misspelling

Kevin Durant's collection of "business tattoos" took a number of folks by surprise two summers ago. Some were struck by the torso-covering tats, which they viewed as a departure from the clean-cut, broad-appeal persona he'd cultivated; this seemed like a silly, outmoded way of looking at things. Others were simply surprised because they'd assumed Durant was tattoo-free because they'd never seen any; this is also a bit silly, but at least not quite so judgmental.

Whatever your reaction to the artistic revelation, it confirmed that — like many of his peers, both within the NBA and outside it — Durant digs ink, setting the stage for new and interesting decorations to come. The self-expression continued a couple of months later, with the Oklahoma City Thunder star getting "Maryland" (his home state) tattooed across his shoulder-blades above a basketball-holding angel flanked by hands gesturing with Durant's number 35.

Apparently, though, the piece wasn't complete. This week, Durant used some of his newfound, unexpected free time to get it finished:

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All done. (Photo via sniperjones35 on Instagram)

In the caption included when posting the photo to Instagram, Durant informed us that the script along the right side of his lower back next to Jesus' face is Scripture, specifically James 1:2-4, and suggested we "look it up." So we did:

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

A reminder of the importance of sticking to one's principles in difficult times seems not only nice, but also extraordinarily appropriate for Durant this week. Cool tat, KD.

Just one thing, though ... from our eagle-eyed pal Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post's D.C. Sports Bog:

Wait, what?

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Hmmm. (Photo via sniperjones35 on Instagram)

That does kind of look like "mautre" rather than "mature," doesn't it?

Um, maybe the tattoo isn't quite finished after all.

UPDATE! 7:50 p.m. EDT: It seems Mr. Durant has caught wind of the "mautre" controversy, as he's offered a follow-up Instagram post: "I got mature spelled the right way lol."

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KD responds. (Photo via sniperjones35 on Instagram)

It's still kind of hard to see, what with all that shine, but we'll take the man's word for it. We can be mautre about stuff like this.

Hat-tip to Jimmy Traina at Sports Illustrated's Extra Mustard.

Slideshow: Zoom in on NBA players' tattoos

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