THE UPPER tattoo on his right arm means strive to be the best. The one below itmeans clan--which for Camby shows love for his family. "I was one of theoriginators of the Chinese characters," says Camby, who broke into the NBAin 1996. "When I got it as a rookie, I don't remember a lot of peoplehaving them. [These characters] seemed like a no-brainer. I want to be thebest. And I've got a lot of love for my family." But why in Chinese? "Iwas into a lot of Chinese flicks," he explains, "a lot of [kung fu]movies."
"I DIDN'T want words, and I didn't want something that was too big,"says the 27-year-old Hughes, who got the Chinese symbol for loyalty encased ina burning basketball tattooed just above his right ankle when he was 16. SaysHughes, who signed with the Cavs last summer, "It's about loyalty to thegame and loyalty to myself. [Actually], I can put anything that has to do withme in the context of that tattoo. Family, friends, basketball. I feel like I ama loyal person in whatever it may be."
THE TAT on his right arm means Jeff--the name of McInnis's five-year-old son.On the left? A state of bliss. "Me and my son are blessed. I got them twoyears ago," says McInnis, who was careful to make sure the symbols meantwhat he thought they meant. (The Bulls' Tyson Chandler says he checked with YaoMing before getting a Chinese tattoo meaning love.) "I got the dictionaryand looked mine up," says McInnis. "Some people don't know what theirsmean. They just get them because they look good."
GARRETT W. ELLWOOD/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (CAMBY TATTOO)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (CAMBY)
JOHN BIEVER (HUGHES TATTOO)
MITCHELL LAYTON (HUGHES)
RON HOSKINS/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (3, MCINNIS HEADSHOT AND TATTOOS)