Ex-NBA bad boy Ron Artest wants to be known as Metta World Peace
If a Los Angeles County court approves a name-change request, the back of this jersey will read "World Peace" next year.
June 24th, 2011
11:52 AM ET

Ex-NBA bad boy Ron Artest wants to be known as Metta World Peace

Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Ahmad Rashad did it for religious reasons. Chad Ochocinco did it because he's funny, loves attention and doesn't know Spanish too well. Baseball cards companies in the '80s co-opted Rock Raines' and Doc Gooden's nicknames because, we have to assume, Rock and Doc are way cooler names than Tim and Dwight.

Then, there's World B. Free, who once prompted Herb Smith - the cat who correctly thought Dr. J was a better name than Julius Erving - to call out "All-World!" after the Brooklyn baller pulled off a 360-degree dunk ... in junior high. Free would later say he also thought highly of world liberation.

But why would NBA-bad-boy-turned-rapper-model-citizen Ron Artest want to change his name? The answer: Why does Artest do anything?

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers forward has filed paperwork in Los Angeles County Superior Court to dispense with his given name, Ronald William Artest Jr., and adopt the name Metta World Peace. The back of his jersey, then, would read, "World Peace."

Metta has myriad definitions in the Buddhist faith, and they're all warm and fuzzy: benevolence, friendliness, goodwill, nonviolence, fellowship, you get the picture. Artest said on his Twitter feed, "Metta is a Pali word meaning loving-kindness. Metta chanting is the radiation of loving-kindness towards all beings: Super dope!!!"

Pali is the language used in many early Buddhist texts. Artest does not mention if there is a Pali word for super dope.

Outside of that tweet, it's unclear what inspired the name change. When one of his Twitter followers asked him point-blank, Artest responded, "OK Listen It was a long summer day And.... Hold one sec."

That was around 7 a.m. ET. Artest never followed up. His website makes no mention of the name change.

Artest's ex-publicist, who resigned last week, his lawyer and a Lakers spokesman confirmed the news for the Times, but none had insight into the rationale behind it.

Artest is scheduled to appear in court in August for a name-changing hearing, the Times reported.

Some might say World Peace is an ironic nickname for a man whose career includes 60 technicals, 33 foul-outs, 17 flagrant fouls and six ejections, and also includes a starring role in 2004's "Palace Brawl," for which Artest was suspended a record-setting 86 games.

But World Peace may speak more to the new-and-improved Artest, who raffled off his 2010 NBA Championship ring to help youngsters with mental illnesses and who won the NBA's citizenship award for his philanthropy in that field. (And for what it's worth, Artest had only six technicals and one ejection last season.)

You'll soon be able to find Artest's 140-character missives at his new Twitter feed, the player says, though it's difficult to know for sure which Artest account is real. The hoopster explained the conundrum in a tweet to our Don Lemon on Friday morning, "Tell twitter they need to verify me They are lazy They never check emails."

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Filed under: Basketball • California • Celebrity • Courts • Most Intriguing People • NBA • Sports • U.S.
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. terhina

    it's time for his psychologist to re-evaluate him!!!!

    June 25, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. seriously?

    he's doing this because his career is going downhill fast....

    June 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. malibuite

    Metta is on his own path. No explanations are needed.

    June 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. NKIMJR

    In his desparate need for attention Artest seems well on the way to following in Dennis Rodmans footsteps, To not be remembered for being one of the great defenders and rebounding scorers in Hx but to be remembered has some kind of freak! Who remembers what a great player Rodman was, when all you can see in your mind is a tattoed,pierced freak, with limited acting talent. This is the way you'll be remembered Ron not has a great player but has the freak with the weird name!

    June 26, 2011 at 5:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. fred cruz

    I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff,BuzzSave. com

    June 26, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Depasquali

    Metta betta play betta

    June 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. JEIFJEJ

    Why on earth do you not have a life?! You sound as dumb as you claim Ron Artest is, but dumber!

    June 26, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Redd Foxx

    IDIOT for last name, STUPID for first! His introduction would be simply be, Hi, I'm Stupid Idiot!!!!

    June 27, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. sonsofbuddha

    The entire concept of Metta can be encapsulated in the official Metta chant song... the lryics are also translated into English from the ancient Buddhist scriptural Pali language:

    http://www.woktoss.com/?p=10137
    (song will play automatically and loop forever)

    Thank you Meta World Peace!

    June 30, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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