Ron Artest is officially Metta World Peace

Ron Artest's long-rumored name change is now a reality. The future Dancing with the Stars contestant has officially changed his name to Metta World Peace. A Los Angeles court commissioner granted Artest's request from June.

Superior court spokeswoman Patricia Kelly said that Artest’s new last name will be World Peace.

His publicist, Courtney Barnes, said the player chose Metta because it is a traditional Buddhist word that means loving and kindness toward all.

"Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world," World Peace said in a statement released after the hearing. "After this short delay, my tickets have been paid and I’m glad that it is now official."

Artest - I mean World Peace - is one of the Red Storm's best stars from the Elite Eight St. John's basketball squad back in 1998-99. Queensbridge's own Ron-Ron was always a little different, free-spirited; but he's always worn his heart on his sleeve, and plays a physical style of basketball that does New York proud.

While waiting for the NBA's lockout to end, Artest will be on Dancing with the Stars with Ricki Lake, Hope Solo, and a number of people who I have personally never heard of. World Peace is hoping to become a two-sport title winner, like DwtS winners Hines Ward and Emmitt Smith.

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