Ball Don't Lie - NBA

On Thursday, we brought you the story of Jason Terry getting a tattoo of the Larry O'Brien Trophy as a motivational tactic for himself and the Dallas Mavericks last fall. It seems to have worked, because the Mavs are now a mere four wins from turning Terry's body art into a legendary piece of ink. What seemed silly a few months ago now seems like a stroke a genius.

Except it turns out that Terry may not be willing to embrace the permanence of this particular tattoo. If the Mavericks can't beat the Heat, he's going to have it removed. From Tim McMahon for ESPNDallas.com:

If his Dallas Mavericks don't beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, Terry said he would have the tattoo removed from the inside of his right biceps.

"I definitely know that it will hurt worse if I have to take this thing off than it did putting it on," Terry said Sunday after the Mavericks wrapped up their final practice before boarding their flight to Miami.

If the Mavs fail to win their first NBA championship, Terry said it would mean his tattoo was bad luck.

"I'm very superstitious," he said.

Terry is well known for his superstitions (including wearing five pairs of socks during games), so it's possible that this reason is not all hogwash. On the other hand, saying that it will hurt more to have the tattoo removed than to keep it is only true in the physical sense, because the entire point of this motivational tool is that meeting the accomplishment won't make JET look like a fool.

Maybe the tattoo has outlived its usefulness as a motivational tactic; if a player can't get pumped up to win the NBA Finals without the help of a tattoo, then there is probably some other problem with their approach to their profession. Still, there's something a little fishy about Terry's decision to chalk up this decision to his superstitious nature. Sometimes, a guy just doesn't want to be the subject of ridicule for the rest of his career.

Then again, this gambit could all be part of Terry's master plan. Somewhere, behind closed doors, DeShawn Stevenson(notes) is addressing his teammates: "Men, let's not let JET go down in history as that dope who got a tattoo of the championship trophy and then got it removed. Because it's been my dream for as long as I can remember to go down in history as the guy from this team with a bunch of stupid tattoos."

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