Ron Artest, the guard-forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, has decided to get his name changed to reflect both his religious and political views. Artest is petitioning to get his name changed to “Metta World Peace” to make himself appear as a unique individual in the world of sports. It is not as if he named himself after the number on his shirt — Chad Ochocinco deserves that honor — but calling yourself a name after a Sanskrit word that means “friendliness, benevolence” when the person has a well known media history of playing rough on the basketball courts. Artest attributes his playing method to his upbringing in a ghetto of Queens, New York. Considering his encounters with the law, Artest looks like he picked the wrong name to change to.
In 2007, Artest was arrested and temporarily suspended from the Kings team when his wife Kimsha filed charges against him, claiming that he shoved her and beat her. In November 2004, his Pacers team was involved with an on court brawl with the Detroit Pistons. One of Artest’s fans from the audience sidelines threw a cup of soda at him, which eventually broke out in a major fight, also incurring the involvement of the Pistons. Nine players were suspended without pay for the season. Chances are that Artest was not exactly thinking about “benevolence” and “world peace” at the time when he could have just ignored that splashed soda on his face and passed it off to the camera as being a lot of sweat that he was shaking off.
With that being said, Artest might also consider the following names he can petition a change to:
Out of Trouble. This one is self explanatory, since it also implies he will avoid getting in trouble with the law ever again.
No More Confrontations. Credit this one to the Pacers-Pistons brawl.
Just Business. Artest will no doubt want to concentrate on playing basketball instead of anything else at this point of his NBA career.
It is doubtful that Artest would think of any of those names, though. Since he really is trying hard to establish some order of peace in his life, he should at least be given credit for that. After being arrested that many times, he certainly wants to keep his legal record from getting any longer than it already is.
Artest has previously placed for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Chicago Bulls.