LA Lakers star Ron Artest is now legally known as “Metta World Peace.”
The most ballyhooed name change of the year became official Friday morning when a Los Angeles County Superior Court commissioner granted Ron Artest’s name change petition to become Metta World Peace, more than three months after Mr. World Peace decided to undergo an identity switch.
World Peace was expected to attend the hearing, but about an hour after the court doors opened, his attorney, Nahla Rajan, announced that the Lakers forward was not coming because of a ‘jam-packed schedule for ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ A few minutes later, Commissioner Matthew C. St. George approved the name change in a hearing that lasted about 30 seconds.
World Peace is 6 feet 7, wears No. 15 for the Lakers and once participated in the infamous “Palace brawl.” He will be wearing his new jersey with World Peace stretched across the back.
World Peace’s publicist, Courtney Barnes, said his client had been contemplating 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.” Metta is a Buddhist term that means loving kindness and friendliness toward others.
World Peace had hoped to adopt his new moniker last month but was rebuffed because of an outstanding traffic ticket. He was cited for driving without a license and faced an additional charge after missing a court date, Rajan said.
Now that the outstanding debts to the DMV has been settled, World Peace can now reign.