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Friday, March 10, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Sonics

Tattoos tell story of former first-round pick Marcus Fizer

Seattle Times staff reporter

Marcus Fizer is a modern-day Michelangelo who has transformed his thick, muscular body into the Sistine Chapel to express his complicated and often conflicting beliefs.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Sonics


7:30 p.m. tonight at KeyArena

TV/Radio: FSN/KJR (950 AM)

Records: Minnesota 26-34, Seattle 23-38.

Notes: This is the second game of a nine-day, six-game trip for Minnesota. The Timberwolves have beaten the Sonics in two of three games this season. Since a seven-player trade with Boston that brought Ricky Davis and Marcus Banks on Jan. 26, Minnesota has a 7-13 record.

Injuries: Sonics — F Nick Collison (torn plantar fascia left foot) and F Danny Fortson (sore left knee) are out. Timberwolves — G Troy Hudson (sore right ankle) and F Ronald Dupree (sprained right ankle) are out.

Percy Allen

P T-WOLVES HT PPG R/A
F T. Hassell 6-5 9.3 2.7R
F Kevin Garnett 6-11 21.7 12.4R
C Mark Blount 7-0 8.4 4.5R
G Ricky Davis 6-7 19.6 4.8R
G Marcus Banks 6-2 12.3 4.0A
P SONICS HT PPG R/A
F R. Lewis 6-10 20.9 5.3R
F Chris Wilcox 6-10 11.9 5.9R
C Johan Petro 7-0 4.4 4.1R
G Ray Allen 6-4 24.8 4.2R
G Luke Ridnour 6-2 11.8 6.9A

Shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he had a tattoo artist sketch on his right calf an image of Jesus Christ holding an American flag with a caption that reads, "Hated by some, but loved by God," to honor the victims.

He has etched the names of his four children and several family members, various Chinese characters and selected passages from the Bible on his honey-colored skin.

Fizer, who signed a 10-day contract with the Sonics on Wednesday, has more than 30 tattoos decorating his 6-foot-8, 260-pound frame. He says the body art is addictive, expensive and painful.

At times he'll get a new tattoo to distract himself from the discomfort caused by an ankle injury or jammed finger.

For someone with deep-rooted religious beliefs instilled by guardians Sheila and Robert Frazier, the tattoos represent a confusing contradiction.

"The Bible says the body is a temple, so I guess it's desecrating the temple," Fizer said. "Technically, it's a sin. ... But I've got other sins that I worry about and I'm trying to work on."

Fizer has a story for nearly every ink-stained image on his body. When asked about the question mark on the left side of his neck, he stumbles for an answer.

"People ask me about that one more than any other one," he said. "I can't really explain it. ... I know what it means. Basically, it's unfinished. There's more to come."

The same might be said of Fizer's frustrating NBA career — highlighted by unspectacular play and two knee surgeries.

Drafted fourth overall out of Iowa State by the Chicago Bulls in 2000, he was never able to unseat Elton Brand, and he was later displaced by Eddy Curry. Fizer's final two seasons in Chicago were ruined by a knee injury.

Last season with the Milwaukee Bucks, he averaged 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 54 games. An ankle injury prevented him from participating in an NBA camp and pushed him to the developmental league, where he starred for the Austin Toros.

Now he's at the bottom of the Sonics' depth chart — behind Chris Wilcox, Mikki Moore and Noel Felix, who signed a 10-day contract on March 2.

"I'm just trying to do the most I can with the time that I have," Fizer said. "Hopefully the minutes will grow with production. ... I'm going to take advantage of this situation."

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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