As if the trade rumors weren’t bad enough, Amare Stoudamire got convinced by Niki D’Andrea of Phoenix New Times that the NBA is instituting a “tattoo cap.”

Anybody with tons of tattoos is subject to criticism, and NBA players are no exception. In February 2008, the NBA announced it would push for a “tattoo cap” on players when its collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of the 2011 season. “We feel it is important that our players not scare the bejesus out of affluent demographic groups with gangsta-style tattoos,” NBA Commissioner David Stern told The proposed cap, as strange as it sounds, would require teams to limit their roster as a whole to 61 percent tattoo coverage of the “upper arms and necks.” So if a team has a couple of players covered in tats, conceivably two or three players with flesh as pure as a baby’s butt would be needed to offset….

For Stoudemire, getting inked is a personal ” not corporate ” decision. He finds the idea of a tattoo cap in the NBA ludicrous: “That’s totally B.S. They can’t put a cap on NBA players. It’s a part of life. I know attorneys with full sleeves, and politicians with tattoos. You can’t judge basketball players like that.”

Yes, “totally B.S.” indeed. The paper has since retracted that part of the story, which is a lengthy cover piece on Suns players and their tats, having been caught out by Alana G (who was formerly “Miss Gossip” at AOL Fanhouse).

The New Times article claimed as the source, but was in fact quoting a clearly satirical blog post by Con Chapman that appeared in Fox’s community section….

Ms. D’Andrea seems like a very nice woman, and I hate to be a hater here… after all, there are lots of very nice people who just aren’t web savvy, aren’t quick to understand things, and make terribly embarrassing errors… but those people should not be PAID STAFF WRITERS AT NEWSPAPERS. As a female trying to earn my own credibility in the media world as an editor at, I actually feel personally upset by incidents like this. Sh*t like this brings us all down. This woman was going around asking NBA players about this proposed tattoo cap. My mind implodes.

Niki replied to my email right away and asked if we could speak on the phone. She indicated in her email that she still wasn’t sure if she had been duped or not. Couple of things: 1) How could you still not be sure you had been duped? Read the full hilariousness of the Con Chapman post, consider the sheer ridiculousness of David Stern’s supposed quote, do a quick Google search to see if any news site talked about this “tattoo cap”… 2) If you are trying to get to the bottom of this matter, why do you want to waste time talking to me? You have no idea who I am. Spend your time talking to the NBA or a trusted source who reports on the NBA, right?

Anyway, in our phone call she told me that she had “heard” about the tattoo cap, couldn’t get the NBA to return her calls about it, did a Google search and found the FoxSports “article” and… decided to go ahead and print it. Questions still unanswered include: 1) Since when does one Google search yielding one satirical blog post constitute adequate reporting? 2) Where was her editor? 3) Where was the fact-checker? 4) Where was the guy who takes out the trash who occasionally watches Sports Center who might have leaned over her desk and caught a glimpse of this story and realized right away that it was completely unbelievable?