Finally, Laker Ron Artest Achieves World Peace - NBC Southern California

Finally, Laker Ron Artest Achieves World Peace

There were a few other possibilities, but in the end Ron Artest gave Peace a chance



    Ron Artest Explains Name Change

    Lakers forward Ron Artest explains why he wants to change his name to Metta World Peace. (Published Friday, Aug. 26, 2011)

    The Laker formerly known as Ron Artest is now Metta World Peace.

    The name change took effect immediately after a judge granted the request Friday morning, said World Peace's publicist, Courtney Barnes. An attorney representing World Peace appeared in court for the brief proceeding.

    Issues involving a few outstanding traffic ticket warrants delayed a first attempt to change the name Aug. 26.

    "It took many years of research and soul searching to find a  first name that was both personally meaningful and inspirational,'' said Barnes.

    World Peace said he came up with the new name about two years ago. "Queensbridge" and "One Love" were other options, but he wanted to make a global statement about peace, love and kindness.

    "Finally, World Peace -- that would be a dope name to have," Artest said when he spoke last month with NBC4. "But we couldn't find a first name. We were picking from about 10 different Buddhist type of names."

    The 31-year-old has appeared in public service announcements, raised funds for organizations and talked publicly about his experience with mental health issues.

    He raised $650,000 by raffling off his NBA championship ring.

    World Peace also wants to change his jersey number from 15 to 70. Seventy represents a new beginning and also was part of the jail numbers assigned to Martin Luther King, Jr. after his arrest in the Montgomery (Ala.) bus boycott, he said.

    "It has a lot of meaning to me," he said.

    Related: @MettaWorldPeace

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