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Lakers Forward Ron Artest Becomes "Metta World Peace"


LOS ANGELES, California ~  LA Lakers forward Ron Artest has had his share of controversy. Now he is hopefully leaving that all behind and start anew as Metta World Peace.  No, Metta World Peace isn’t some New Age mystical fad.  It’s Ron Artest’s new legal name.

Artest’s name change was officially approved and on Friday Sept. 16, 2011 Ron Artest officially became Metta World Peace.

"Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world," said World Peace in a statement released just after the hearing.

World Peace’s name change was originally delayed due to outstanding parking tickets.  In an interview with ESPN World Peace, then known as Ron Artest, admitted, “It comes down to the parking tickets. I don't know how to pay a parking ticket.  I've never paid a parking ticket in my life…There's so much fine print.  I just get them and throw them in my glove compartment."

Who would have thought that the only thing preventing humanity from achieving world peace was unpaid parking tickets?

In the past Artest has been arrested for allegedly keeping his Great Dane, Socks, from being properly nourished.  In 2007 Artest was arrested for domestic abuse and was subsequently banned from the Sacramento Kings.  Most recently, in May 2011 clotheslined Mavericks guard Jose Juan Barea in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.

World Peace seems to be a changed man, however.  He has promoted the spaying and neutering of pets for PETA and has become an advocate for those with mental health issues.

World Peace’s publicist said that “Metta” is a traditional Buddhist word that means kindness toward all.

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