Just like a lot of NBA players, Kevin Durant has a chest and stomach covered in tattoos. Just like a lot of NBA fans, none of Durant’s tattoos are visible if he’s wearing the clothes he normally wears to work. This is the concept of business tattoos in its purest form.

And, as the Oklahoman found out, it’s no accident.

Some have described the placement as “business tattoos,” meaning one of the league’s rising stars isn’t jeopardizing his marketability by marking up his limbs. The truth is that’s precisely what Durant has done. He’s strategically stained his skin only in areas where companies and consumers could never spot his growing mural of body art.

Durant confirmed the deliberate placement of his designs following a practice in early May when the Thunder was in a Western Conference semifinals series with Memphis. A day earlier on Twitter, I had verified a reader’s query as to whether the images on Durant’s chest from a previous photo were real. It sparked shock among my “followers” and led to a series of subsequent questions.

Within minutes, the social networking conversation had made its way to Durant, who happened to be live streaming a recording session from his in-home music studio. Durant immediately checked his phone on the broadcast and told viewers he does indeed have tattoos before adding, “so what?”

“So what?” is right. He’s not the first guy to have a chest plate covered in tattoos, and he sure won’t be the last. It’s just funny that an NBA player, usually the kind of guy who doesn’t care if he has visible ink, would have the same concerns as some workaday dude who you didn’t realize had a gigantic wolf tatted on his bicep until he wears a polo shirt to the company picnic.

Back in the day, Kobe Bryant’s arms were tattooless, and now he’s covered in pieces you can barely see. Maybe Kevin Durant will do the same thing, but for now he’s content to keep his tattoos hidden because it’s better for business, just like you and me and your best friend’s wife who has tattoos that are easily concealed by a swimsuit so that her dad won’t see. Outside of his prodigious basketball talent and immense wealth, he’s one of us.

(via Deadspin)