Is Andrei Kirilenko removing his massive back tattoo? (Pictures)


Andrei Kirilenko shocked basketball fans by getting a massive back tattoo last year. The tattoo was stunning for a few obvious reasons: it’s enormous, it’s out of character for a guy like Kirilenko, and it’s quite elaborate for a person’s first tattoo.

Some people predicted that Kirilenko would be removing it before long. It looks like they were right.

One of my friend who is a Timberwolves fan pointed out towards the beginning of the season that something about Kirilenko’s back tattoo didn’t look right. He said it looked like the Minnesota forward was removing it.

After watching Kirilenko during Ricky Rubio’s return over the weekend, I came away agreeing with him.

The photo you see at the top of this post is from a game Kirilenko played with the Russian team at the London Olympics in August. The tattoo ink is significantly less visible compared to what it looked like last year.

Below is a photo of how the tattoo originally looked:

Several other action shots from Kirilenko’s time with the Timberwolves (like this, this, and this) all show the fading ink where the flying beast’s wings used to be on his shoulders.

Here’s one from November of AK with Minnesota where the ink on his shoulders is very light:


Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

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  • http://twitter.com/thomas_kulesa Thomas Kulesa

    The “original” picture clearly was taken almost immediately after the tattoo session was finished. The skin is still red and sore. In the recent pictures the tattoo has healed and you can see all the tones in the grey wash. There would be a lot more visual evidence of it being removed by laser. 

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Tattoos look that red after they’re immediately done? I haven’t seen that before. Could it be that he’s had one laser session and that he needs to go for more?