The Philadelphia 76ers have two players with Nintendo tattoos

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

One season removed from having no players with Nintendo tattoos, the Philadelphia 76ers now have a pair of them in Mike Muscala and Wilson Chandler.

After dropping a bomb against the Detroit Pistons all the way back in October in a Ben Simmons-less effort, the Philadelphia 76ers evened the season series at one all on their home turf thanks to another monster performance by Joel Embiid.

And while his 39 and 17 double-double in only 34 minutes of action was indeed impressive, especially when you consider that none of the Sixers’ other starters even scored in double-digits, the game also marked the official debut of recently acquired forward Wilson Chandler, who’d sat out the start of the season following a preseason hamstring injury.

Though he didn’t record a single point in his 10 minutes of action, Chandler hauled in four boards and even stole a ball while serving as RoCo‘s foil on the second unit, finally giving the team an additional 3-and-D wingman to bolster their two-way play.

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But that’s not all Chandler brings to the table for his new team.

Covered almost head to toe in tattoos, including a giant back piece of the X-Men character the Juggernaught, Chandler’s most interesting ink, to me at least, is a depiction of a Boo from the Super Mario franchise.

In Chandler, the 76ers now have a pair of players with visible Nintendo-themed tattoos, 200 percent more than they had last season.

Besides Chandler, who also has a few Power Stars and even a small Koopa on his back, the Sixers also acquired new GM Elton Brand‘s former Atlanta teammate Mike Muscala over the summer, and he too has a Nintendo tattoo, of Tanooki Mario from the box art of Super Mario 3.

Brett Brown traded for two players over his lone summer as the 76ers interim GM (excluding Zhaire Smith and Shake Milton), and both players have Nintendo-themed tattoos. Coincidence? Maybe, but maybe not?

While video games and sports are pretty well linked, as the various 2K, FIFA and Madden franchises all sell millions of copies each year, NBA players have started to embrace gaming more and more with each passing year, virtually linking the two for the foreseeable future.

From the Gordon Hayward-themed League of Legends commercials that have peppered national basketball commercials cycles over the first month of the season, to young players’ obsession with Fortnite, to Markelle Fultz‘s recent partnership with Xbox and Bethesda to promote Fallout 76 on Twitter/Instagram, basketball and video games are quickly taking over the culture in a noticeable, mainstream way, and it’s no surprise that the pair are starting to commingle.

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Though we’ve yet to see a Sixer rocking a Vault Boy tattoo, or appear alongside Travis Scott in a Samsung commercial, it’s cool that some of the Sixers’ more veteran players also embrace video games, even if many of these Mario characters were created before players like Fultz, Embiid and Simmons were even born.  Maybe a Nintendo x Sixers collab should be in the works to help promote the connection? I’d certainly buy it.