LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Lakers forward Ron Artest is now “Metta World Peace” after he appeared before a judge Friday to officially change his name.
Artest filed a petition with the Los Angeles Superior Court to change his name back in June, but the process was delayed until several traffic violations were paid.
“Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world,” Artest said. “After this short delay, my tickets have been paid and I’m glad that it is now official.”
Artest’s young daughter, Diamond, will also take “World Peace” as her last name.
“Metta” is defined as “lovingkindness” or “the Buddhist virtue of kindness.”
Lakers PA announcer with the “Metta World Peace” Call:
Ironically, Artest was arrested in 2005 along with two other Indiana Pacers players for their roles in one of the worst brawls in sports history.
The brawl began when Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace pushed Artest after a foul. After the players were separated, Artest and several other players went after a fan who he had apparently thrown a drink on him.
Artest joined the Lakers in 2009 after stints with the Bulls, Pacers, Kings, and Rockets. In 2004, he was crowned NBA Defensive Player of the Year and named to the All-Star game when he played for the Pacers. In 2010, he won his first championship with the Lakers.