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LA Lakers’ Ron Artest Changes His Name To Metta World Peace

Source: EveryJoe.com

Queens-bred NBA star Ron Artest was granted a new name, Metta World Peace, per his petition, by a California court.

His Lakers jersey will now say World Peace on the back, his publicist said, but it’s not clear how ABC will deal with the quirky new moniker during his “Dancing With the Stars” debut Monday.

“I think there will be more about that when he goes on the show,” publicist Courtney Barnes said after a judge made the name change official.

World Peace, 31, was scheduled to appear before the judge in person early Friday, but the Los Angeles Lakers forward bowed out at the last minute due to his “brutal” dancing rehearsals, Barnes said.

“Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world,” World Peace, 31, said in a statement.

He has been courting a more positive image since November 2004, when he sparked the most notorious brawl in NBA history by jumping into the stands and attacking a fan while playing for the Indiana Pacers.

He was suspended for the rest of that season but earned later accolades for community work and his role in the Lakers’ 2010 championship.

He first filed for the name change in June and faced an unexpected delay last month over two unpaid traffic violations.

Raised in the Queensbridge projects, World Peace said he chose Metta because it’s a Buddhist term used to express loving kindness and friendliness.

He’s not a Buddhist, but his publicist said many of the first names he considered over the last few years were in the spirit of Buddhism and its peaceful conventions.

Source: NY Daily News

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014