Diddy’s done it at least three times. The Notorious B.I.G. had to switch from Biggie Smalls. Prince did it to protest Warner Bros. and Cassius Clay was real official with it when he chose Muhammed Ali. So why not Ron Artest as Metta World Peace? According to ESPN.com, the Lakers forward is petitioning to the Los Angeles Superior Court to officially change his name.
Aside from the oddness of the name, folks are especially surprised since Artest’s reputation in the NBA is not that of the gentle giant. In 2004 he made headlines for inciting a riot in Detroit after he attacked a fan during a game. The loss of composure cost him play time in 73 games, plus the playoffs.
While Artest, er Peace, has tried to clean up his image over the years, he received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in April for speaking out on mental health. The All-Star baller is also jumping into several projects that will keep his name in the headlines. Hiis wife, Kimsha, will be on the cast the reality televison series Basketball Wives: Los Angeles and Artest, himself, supposedly prepping for his own show Last Second Shot.
In the meantime, everyone will have to wait and see what the back of his jersey says when the season begins anew.