Ron Artest Changes Name to Metta World Peace

Ron Artest
FILE – This March 25, 2011 file photo shows Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest celebrating after dunking the ball during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles court commissioner has approved Artest’s petition to change his name to Metta World Peace. The bid by the Lakers forward for the new name had been delayed by three weeks so that he could resolve unpaid traffic tickets. With that issue out of the way, Superior Court Commissioner Matthew St. George approved the change Friday, Sept. 16, 2011, during a brief hearing. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
FILE - This March 25, 2011 file photo shows Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest celebrating. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

Metta World Peace it is.

After unpaid traffic tickets delayed Ron Artest from changing his name to Metta World Peace, a court commissioner finally granted Artest’s wish on Friday—giving him one of the more interesting names in sports.

A superior court spokeswoman told the Associated Press that Artest’s new last name will be World Peace.

The defensive specialist out of St. Johns went with Metta, because it is a Buddhist word that means loving and kindness towards all.

“Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world,” Artest…we mean World Peace, said in a statement released after the hearing. “After this short delay, my tickets have been paid and I’m glad that it is now official.”

World Peace is an interesting choice of a last name, especially for Artest who is best known by non-NBA fans as the guy who jumped into the stands in Detroit while he was playing with the Pacers, and got into a fight with fans. That scene goes down as one of the most embarrassing moments in NBA history. It’s so famous in fact, that “Pacers-Pistons brawl” has its own Wikipedia page.

But it seems like World Peace has calmed down in recent years—and received some help in doing so—after he famously thanked his psychiatrist after the Lakers won the NBA Finals two years ago.

He requested the name change in June.

Making it even more official: He will get a new driver’s license that will read “Metta World Peace.”

This name change now begs the question. Who has the cooler name: Chad Ochocinco (Chand Johnson) or Metta World Peace?

-With Associated Press