In the midst of the NBA lockout in 2011, Ron Artest filed a petition in the Los Angeles Superior Court to change his name from Ronald William Artest Jr. to Metta World Peace. I’ll never forget the reason he gave Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times as to why he did it:
“I changed my name because I got tired of Ron Artest, he’s a [expletive],” said Metta World Peace. “And when fans get mad at me, they can’t say, ‘I hate World Peace.’ ”
That September, Artest was granted his wish for World Peace, and it’s been his legal first, middle and last name since, despite rumors that he changed his name to “Panda Friend” when he played in China in 2014. It was even on the back of his jersey.
Unfortunately, after almost 10 years of World Peace, Artest has changed his name once again. In a recent appearance on “Inside the Green Room with Danny Green,” Artest broke the world-shattering news that he is no longer Metta World Peace:
“The first game that I had with ‘World Peace,’ I was like, ‘This is the dumbest thing ever. I was coming off of the bench at that time, in 2011, and they say, ‘Metta World Peace!’ And I remember not wanting to take off my warm up. It was embarrassing. So I did think about changing my name back, but then I got used, people got used it.
“But right now, it’s funny because I got married, and my name now is ‘Metta Sandiford-Artest.’ I actually took my wife’s last and added it to mine.”
So, I guess that you can say that World Peace is over. Given where we’re at in 2020, that makes so much sense.
As an aside, congrats to Metta and Maya Sandiford-Artest on tying the knot.