Ron Artest Name Change to 'Metta World Peace' Officially Legal

Sep 21, 2011, 10:57 by R.E. Christian

A Los Angeles court official Friday approved Los Angeles Lakers star Ron Artest's name change to Metta World Peace.

World Peace did not attend the brief hearing at which Los Angeles County Superior Court Commissioner Matthew St. George OK'd the change, the Los Angeles Times reported. He was represented by his attorney, Nahla Rajan, the newspaper said.

"Mr. Artest has requested a name change to Metta World Peace?" St. George asked.

"Yes, your honor," Rajan replied.

"And it's for personal reasons, he said?" the commissioner followed up.

"Yes, your honor," Rajan answered.

"OK. All right," St. George said. "He'll now be known as Metta World Peace. Thank you."

It all took less than a minute, the Times said.

Courtney Barnes, a spokeswoman for World Peace, said the name change was something the basketball player had contemplated for a long time "but it took many years of research and soul-searching to find a first name that was both personally meaningful and inspirational."

Metta is a Buddhist term for loving kindness and friendliness toward others, the Times said.

"Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world," World Peace said in a statement. "I'm glad that it is now official."

Source: UPI