Time to upgrade your #15 Lakers jersey – it’s not the number that’s out of date, it’s the name “Artest.”
After a slight delay thanks to some unpaid parking tickets, the Los Angeles Lakers forward formerly known as Ron Artest has officially become Metta World Peace.
The three-week holdup was settled Friday, the parking tickets were paid, and after a short court hearing, Mr. World Peace was well on his way to promoting the ideals behind his new name. “Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world,” World Peace said. His first name, Metta, is based on a Buddhist term meaning love and kindness to all.
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It’s a meaning that could be seen as ironic for some fans, though. That’s because the former Ron Artest, as a former Indiana Pacer, is best known for sparking the NBA’s most notorious brawl when he jumped into the stands and attacked a Detroit Pistons fan after he was hit with a drink.
But promoting peace in his name perhaps speaks to a larger ideology shift for the basketball star. He’s become a recent proponent of mental health legislation and will appear on this season of Dancing with the Stars. And the desire for World Peace is spreading fast. His 8-year-old daughter is reportedly seeking to change her last name to World Peace, as well.
Metta World Peace will go by his new name both personally and professionally – will players and fans be able to take him seriously, though?
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