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. Canadian Genius

    I don't know what the Pali word for super is, but I'm pretty sure the Pali word for dope is "Artest".

    June 24, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joe Moore


    June 24, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Unreal

    Typical A _ _ h_ l_ professional athlete, too much money and not enough brains... You are all over paid!!!

    June 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miles

      YEPPERS! Totally agree.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    I am officially changing my name to
    "You're Right!"

    No explanation necessary.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kobe

    "Hey this guys name is world peace; I think we should all try harder to get this peace thing going."
    Why waste time changing your name to something dumb like this. Take time finding ways to use the millions of dollars you have to help someone out instead.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miles

      Totally agree, bro!

      June 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • thinkbeforeyoupost

      Really? any idea what artest did with his first and only championship ring?

      June 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DizPAC

    AAAHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! "World Peace" That's almost as funny as a guy I played hockey with whose last name was "Mount" and his number was 69.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. worldbelow

    Ron is definitely smokin the MEAN GREEN!!

    June 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy


    Your story *is* funnier.....

    June 24, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • DizPAC

      Thanks...best part is, it's 100% true. An AHL player (Milwaukee) has the number 22 and his last name (no joke) is Tootoo.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Redd Foxx

    His jersey should read "DUMMY", for a last name and YouBig for the first. The whole name should be YouBig Dummy!!!

    June 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. the_dude

    Man where are they handing out all this free crack at???? I need to get me some of that....

    June 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. james

    Metamucil would be more appropriate here.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Really?

    He should pull a Phoebe and change his last name to, "Bananahammock".

    June 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Link

    The aire of self-importance. Sorry, don't need retreads from the hood telling me how to live. Go back to bouncing 'yo ball bro. Leave concience to us legit thinkers.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ummm

      You should learn how to spell before you judge him.

      June 24, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nomad

    Ya know folks. I think the gap between intelligent and idiot is gett much larger. Not because the smart are getting smarter.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. markus

    Go for it Ron, er Metta, or is it Mr. Peace(?) Not nearly as many people really take you seriously anymore anyway.

    June 24, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
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