Ron Artest to change his name to "Metta World Peace"

June, 23, 2011
6/23/11
6:44
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
Clearly, a decision Ron Artest made after he opted to clothesline J.J. Barea, but I digress.

In the latest piece of news surrounding the, shall we say, eccentric small forward, a petition was filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court to officially change his name to Metta World Peace. (I would make my usual "this is not a typo" joke, but given that we are talking about Ron Artest, would anybody actually assume that was a typo?) No word on how long this request will take to be approved, or if there's any reason he'd be denied, for that matter. In any event, the identity change falls in line with recent steps Ron has taken while bettering himself as a person and revamping his formerly tarnished image:

- Opening up about his time in therapy, while becoming an outspoken advocate for the mental health issues. (A matter we discussed at great length earlier this season.)

- Winning the 2011 J.Walter Kennedy Citizenship award for outstanding service and dedication to the community.

- Launching a new reality TV show, "Last Second Shot," in which he'll mentor parolees.

Thus, why not change his name to "Metta World Peace?" ("Metta," by the way, is defined as the Buddhist virtue of kindness.")

The one concern I might have for Ron is perhaps appearing like he's on the verge of jumping the shark. It's one thing to thank your psychiatrist before conducting a freewheeling, heartfelt press conference for the ages. It's another to adopt a very unusual moniker. Too many moves at once, however well-intentioned, could come off as cartoonish.

Still, Ron's heart does appear in the right place these days, so if this decision either helps spread his message or makes him feel like a properly evolving man, assuming his family's blessings are in place, who are we to cast judgment beyond a playful snicker?

However, there remains one important question to consider. Once the paperwork is official, is the nickname "Metta-Metta" or "World-World?" And what goes on the back of the jersey? Discuss among yourselves.

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