ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It took him until his fifth NBA team, but forward James Johnson seems to have finally found an NBA home this season with the Memphis Grizzlies. As an energy/hustle guy off the bench, Johnson perfectly illustrates what the “Grit And Grind” Memphis Grizzlies are all about.
At first glance, one thing stands out about Johnson: He has a huge tattoo on his neck that reads “NAYMIN 3.9.13.” Johnson got the tattoo in honor of his son born on that date, six weeks premature. After fighting to survive, his son pulled through and is now coming up on his first birthday. As Johnson told ESPN.com: “Life changed for me after that. Life wasn’t about only me anymore. After that day, the head on my shoulders was different from what it was before.”
So to honor Johnson and his contributions to the Grizzlies, the team will give away 5,000 “GRIZZLIES” neck tattoos before their home game on February 21. As Grizzlies COO Jason Wexler told ESPN, “The tattoo he got wasn’t a symbol of toughness. It was a transformational moment in his life, and that resonates with our fans and fits in with everything we are.”
An image of the faux tattoo is below…