It’s not part of his stand-up comedy act. And as far as we can tell, it’s not an homage to World B. Free. But it’s definitely for real. Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest has petitioned to have his name legally changed to Metta World Peace.
While not as disastrous of a name change as say, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf for example, given Artest’s checkered past, it’s sure to cause some confusion among NBA fans.
Now you might hear announcers say things like, “A sucker punch by World Peace, and Peace has been ejected from the game!” On the road, he’ll probably be showered by opposing fans with taunts like, “Hey World Peace, you suck!”
After all, isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Artest…I mean Peace…the infamous Malice at the Palace? Imagine if this had been the headline resulting from that night:
And it wasn’t too long ago that Artest wanted to be called by a different name, after his floundering record label, which at first glance seems to conflict with his current choice.
Tru Warier…or World Peace? Well Ron, which is it? I guess I should just be happy it isn’t “Whirled Peaz” or something to that effect.
The best thing about this whole name-changing situation for Artest is that it yields the kind of publicity and awareness that can launch an acting career. Playing for the Lakers, Artest is already on Hollywood’s doorstep. If he ever wanted to make the transition from NBA goon to big screen star, now is the time. And I think I’ve got the perfect debut role for him:
Okay, so it’s no “Kazaam” starring Shaquille O’Neal, but it’s still pretty good.