Ron Artest officially changes name to Metta World Peace
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Ron Artest officially changes name to Metta World Peace

Los Angeles : CA : USA | Sep 17, 2011 at 8:47 AM PDT
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NBA superstar Ron Artest has joined the list of famous name changers.

Ron Artest, whose name change was delayed due to outstanding traffic tickets, got his new name when a Los Angeles court commissioner approved his petition three weeks after his bid to be officially named Metta World Peace.

Superior court spokeswoman Patricia Kelly said that Ron Artest's new last name will be World Peace. His publicist, Courtney Barnes, said his client had been considering the switch for years, "but it took many years of research and soul-searching to find a first name that was both personally meaningful and inspirational."

Barnes said the player chose Metta because it is a traditional Buddhist word that means loving and kindness toward all.

"Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world," Ron Artest 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."

“Metta is going to be the first name and it means like friendship, love and kindness,” Artest told Stephen A. Smith on 710 ESPNLA earlier this month. “World Peace is going to be the last name, so everybody can get ready to buy their World Peace jerseys.”

The name “Metta” is an enlightened choice for the 6 feet 7, player who wears No. 15 for the Lakers and once participated in the infamous "Palace brawl." Although he changed his name to Metta World peace, “Peace” hasn’t always been a hallmark of the 31-year-old forward’s career.

However, Ron Artest helped the Lakers win an NBA title in 2010 and in April he received an award for outstanding service and dedication to the community.

Barnes added that Ron Artest will get a new driver’s license and passport to signify his new name but the change will not affect his contract with the Lakers or any endorsement deals. Barnes said his client would more fully explain his name change Monday when he appears on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

Ron Artest had requested the name change in June, citing only personal reasons, but it was delayed because of an outstanding traffic ticket. He was cited for driving without a license and faced an additional charge after missing a court date, his attorney Nahla Rajan said.

Apart from dealing with labor issues that could threaten the start of the season, Ron Artest is preparing to display other talents as a contestant on the upcoming season of the hit TV dancing competition “Dancing with the Stars”.

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Michelle Lincaster is based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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