Ron Artest Files Petition for Name Change

Ron-Artest-Metta-World-PeaceThe Los Angeles Lakers may need to issue new uniforms for Ron Artest next season.

The 31-year-old defensive specialist filed a petition on Thursday to officially change his name from Ronald William Artest Jr. to Metta World Peace. The Los Angeles County Superior Court will decide on August 26 whether Artest deserves to be known as Mr. Peace. The Lakers have also yet to decide whether Artest’s new jersey will have World Peace or just Peace.

Artest’s soon-to-be new name runs in contrast with his reputation in the NBA. The Lakers forward is best remembered for the infamous brawl at The Palace of Auburn Hills towards the end of a match between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers, Artest’s former team. In that November 2009 riot, Artest, after being hit by a cup of softdrink, entered the stands and attacked a fan, igniting a free-for-all involving both fans and players. Artest was suspended the rest of the 2009-2010 season.

Artest will not be the first sports star to change his name. Among the sports star who had their names changed were NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor) and boxing icon Muhammad Ali (Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.).