Lakers' Ron Artest files for name change; seeks "Metta World Peace"
While the rest of the NBA world was fixated on Thursday's draft, Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest was busy filing for a name change at Los Angeles Superior Court. Born Ronald William Artest Jr., the 31-year-old Queensbridge requested his name be changed to Metta World Peace, "metta" being a Buddhist term meaning "a strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others." A 12-year veteran, Artest's career has been a series of extreme ups-and-downs.
Los Angeles, CA, United States
June 24, 2011 03:02 pm EDT
Sports, Basketball, National Basketball Association
While the rest of the NBA world was fixated on Thursday's draft, Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest was busy filing for a name change at Los Angeles Superior Court.
Born Ronald William Artest Jr., the 31-year-old Queensbridge native requested his name be changed to Metta World Peace, "metta" being a Buddhist term meaning "a strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others."
"I'm an advocate for world peace," Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak quipped when asked about the name change by the Los Angeles Times.
A 12-year veteran with averages of 14.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, Artest's career has been a series of extreme ups-and-downs.
In 2004, Artest gained infamy for his involvement in a gruesome altercation with fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills while a member of the Pacers. Artest received the stiffest suspension for his role in the brawl, eventually missing an unprecedented 86 games due to suspension.
But the 6-foot-7, 260-pound athlete has become a gentle giant since then, even winning the NBA's citizenship award for the 2010-11 season, as determined by pro basketball media members.
He also testified before Congress to support mental health legislation, raffled off his 2010 Lakers championship ring and raised about $600,000 for various mental-health service providers.
Artest is due back in court for a name-change hearing on August 26.
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