You won’t see J.R. Smith’s fancy new ink this fall when then the NBA season kicks off its new season.
Smith recently inked the “SUPREME” logo on his calf, and complained on Instagram earlier this week that the NBA was threatening to fine him every single game unless he covered up the logo of the popular clothing brand.
Part of Smith’s post reads:
“I swear I’m the only person they do s**t like this to! So you mean to tell me i have to cover up my tattoo for what? You don’t make people cover up Jordan logos NIKE checks or anything else but because it’s me it’s a problem all of a sudden!!!”
Three days later, Smith has changed his mind.
“I’m not giving them money that could go to my kids,” Smith said, according to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “I was looking into (my rights), but the players’ association just texted me, and you know what? I’m not going to put money in their pockets. Not a chance.”
It looks like Smith made the smart choice, as the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and the players specifically addresses this kind of thing.
There is no debate that the NBA has the right to tell JR Smith he has to cover up the Supreme tattoo on his skin. Smith, by virtue of being an NBA player, agreed to those terms when the union signed the Collective Bargaining Agreement. pic.twitter.com/CmzWUkHDLa
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 1, 2018
Smith claims that he isn’t receiving any payment from Supreme for the tattoo, nor is there any sponsorship agreement with the company.
“It was just something that I wanted to do,” Smith added. “There’s a lot of other things going on in this world (the league) could be worried about besides a tattoo, but it’s their league. They can do what they want.”
One interesting thing to note: Smith isn’t the only NBA player with corporate logos tattooed on his body. Carmelo Anthony has the Warner Bros. logo on his shoulder, Kyle Kuzma has the FORD logo on his right arm, John Wall his Nintendo characters on his ankle/lower leg, and Mario Chalmers has the Nintendo mascot himself — Super Mario — holding a basketball on his arm.
Some of these are more subtle than the bold “SUPREME” on Smith’s calf, but it makes you wonder why the NBA has suddenly decided to crack down.