DIXON'S MOTHER, Juanita, depicted here, and father, Phil, both died of AIDS while Juan was attending Calvert Hall High in inner-city Baltimore. Both parents were heroin addicts, and Juan and his three siblings lived with grandparents from the time Juan was four. "My mom gave me a whole lot of support even though she wasn't always around," Dixon said. "We knew she loved her kids. It was tough for her having children at a young age, and it was tough for us having her die at a young age. I used basketball as an escape. I got the tattoo of her over my heart to let her know she is always with me."
CURRY'S FORMER teammate Jamal Crawford (now a Knick) and other of Curry's closest friends have identical markings: home on the right biceps, team on the left. "Your main group is your home team," Curry says. "There are a lot of hangers-on who want to be your friend because they want something. When I look at the tattoo, I remember the friends who mean the most to me." Curry has a high number of "friends" because he plays near home. "That's probably the main reason I got [the tattoo]," he says. "I felt overwhelmed by ticket demands and people wanting something from me. I said, I've got to get me a home team."
WHEN PEOPLE see this image on Fizer's left biceps, "they say, 'Mike who? Michael Jackson? Michael Jordan?'" says the fifth-year pro. "But this Michael does a lot better things than those guys." Fizer's tattoo (it says bad like michael) honors the archangel Michael, who had epic Biblical fights against Satan. Fizer was impressed by stories of Michael he heard while at church growing up in Arcadia, La. He got the tattoo when he was at Iowa State, and it's one of what may be an NBA-record 28 tattoos on his body. "I've had surgery for two ACLs," he says. "Getting a tattoo is like getting a mosquito bite."
TWO COLOR PHOTOS
MITCHELL LAYTON (2, DIXON)
TWO COLOR PHOTOS
RANDY BELICE/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (2, CURRY)
ROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (FIZER)
GARY DINEEN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (FIZER TATTOO)