There's one St. John's mens's basketball alum in the NBA now, the defensive force of nature Ron Artest. We know he's wired a bit differently, know he's been quirky and even mercurial since before college. Others would say he's a little touched, but for Johnnies fans, he is awesome, loyal to his Queensbridge and teammates, and a representative of NYC basketball - toughness and physicality.
Now he's in the news for changing his name to Metta World Peace. (While we're writing about Ron Artest, we'll also poll you to get your opinions on his name change.)
And now Artest wants to play games in Finland this September during the NBA lockout? From Ball in Europe:
"Finland’s top league Korisliiga will witness some serious NBA talent in September 2011, when Los Angeles Lakers forward/multipersonality Ron Artest will join league newcomer LoKoKo Loimaa.
"The 31-year old Artest has three years left in his Lakers contract, but that doesn’t seem to bother LoKoKo sports director Aleksi Valavuori, who backs up the rumor in Tuesday’s Ilta-Sanomat newspaper.
Has our boy lost his damned mind?! As Ball Don't Lie points out, Artest will be hard-pressed to find a team that will actually sign him up an play him:
Because they fear the wrath of David Stern, which inspires the wrath of NBA influence which leads to the wrath that hits FIBA where it counts which would preclude someone like World Peace from playing international basketball. Even if LeBron James(notes) decided to jump and work for an international team during the lockout, it wouldn't be worth it for them in regards to their standing with FIBA, and by extension the NBA. The NBA-inspired fallout just wouldn't be worth it.
In other words, Ron Artest's current contract and the power of Stern will keep the seed of the Finnish plot from taking root.
So it's not that bizarre that Ron-Ron changed his name to Metta World Peace. That's the action of a man choosing to place himself in a zone of intentionally-decided peace. Or the actions of a man who is bored with the turbulence inside.
Or just some crazy mess that a person does when he's wealthy and bored. If "Metta" means "loving kindness"/ "benevolence"/ "amity" et cetera, what does that name even mean? What actions come with this new name? And why is he doing this now?
I wonder if new coach Mike Brown thought that Kobe was the only personality he'd have to adapt to... because he was wrong.
By the way, what do you think of the name change? Take the poll.