Artist reveals process behind Zion Williamson's first tattoo

Tattoo artist Anthony Michaels showed the process behind New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson's first tattoo on Monday. Anthony Michaels/Instagram (@antmikes)

The artist responsible for Zion Williamson's first tattoo showed the process behind the body art, which carries familial and biblical significance.

The New Orleans Pelicans star received a large back tattoo that reads: "Mount Zion." Anthony Michaels, an artist who works at Twenty Five Twelve Collective, a tattoo and piercing shop in Tucson, Arizona, is the man behind the design. On Monday, Michaels posted a video to his Instagram page with a behind-the-scenes look at the piece's creation.

Williamson explained the inspiration behind the body art during a postgame news conference on Nov. 30, 2022, after the Pelicans' game against the Toronto Raptors.

"My grandmother passed away when I was 1 ... she helped my mom come up with my name. So it's a biblical reference as well. When I talked to the artist (Michaels) about it, he understood where I was coming from ... He understood the spiritual aspect that I wanted on why I wanted the tattoo ... the artist, myself, my mom, my grandmother, and friends and family ... That what's this tattoo's for," Williamson said.

Williamson's parents named him after Mount Zion, a hill just outside the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem. It is considered the highest point in all of Jerusalem and is referenced over 150 times in the Bible.

Williamson hasn't played a game for the Pelicans since Jan. 2, as he has been dealing with a hamstring injury. The Pelicans announced on Wednesday that the forward has been cleared for on-court activities and will be reevaluated in two weeks.