J.R. Smith Tells Tale of Epic Tattoo Collection

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIDecember 29, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 26:  J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks stands on the court during player introductions for the Phoenix Suns before the NBA game at US Airways Center on December 26, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.. The Knicks defeated the Suns 99-97.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

During an interview with Todd Heisler of The New York Times, New York Knicks sixth man J.R. Smith told all about his unbelievable tattoo collection.

Smith is, without a doubt, one of the most inked up players in the NBA. By his estimation, he has over 70 tattoos.

Don't take it from me, though. Read his interview with Heisler, where he discusses the lifestyle that is embracing the ink.

Both fascinating and shocking.

Q. Do you keep track of how many tattoos you have?

A. I lost count.

Q. How many did you have before you think you lost count?

A. It was around 70-something.

Q. Do you have a general thought process in deciding what to get next?

A. No, I never know what I’m going to get until I get to the tattoo parlor.

The final answer certainly sounds like his approach to basketball.

Smith often appears as if he's going with the flow on offense, abandoning play-calling and taking advantage of openings in the defense. When there are no openings, Smith makes due and drops in jaw-dropping jump shots and dunks.

It's great to see some consistency in lifestyle and playing style.

Later in the interview, Heisler asks Smith about his regrets and influences. To be more specific, which tattoos he'd remove, when he became interested in getting ink and what made him decide to get more.

As anyone who has received a tattoo will tell you, it becomes an addiction. For Smith, that addiction exists.

It definitely exists.

Q.Is there one tattoo that you wish you could remove?

A. I love all of my tattoos.

Q.Were you always fascinated with tattoos? When did it start?

A. I actually hated tattoos. I told myself I would never get like this.

Q.When did it all change?

A. Once I got one, I was addicted.

"Addicted" may be an understatement. Instead, "a change in lifestyle" may be the proper fit for his approach to getting tattoos.

Just ask Smith himself.

Q.Do you think you have a bigger, or different, fan base compared with most N.B.A. players’ because of your tattoos?

A. Yeah, I think they like the way I look. It’s kind of like a fashion statement now to some people, but it’s a lifestyle to others.

Q.What is it for you?

A. For me, it’s a lifestyle.

Do you agree? Does the way J.R. Smith looks, in reference to his tattoos, impact his fan base?

If so, tell us why! Hit the comments section and stay up with the latest updates from Bleacher Report.