Metta World Peace is one of the most eccentric people you’ll find around the NBA. Besides being an incredibly disruptive, physical, strong, and versatile defender; he made a name for himself for changing his name from Ron Artest.
The small forward was a bit of a troublemaker during his prime, so apparently, his new name was a way to sticking it up to those who criticized him for wreaking havoc every time out there.
However, it seems that he didn’t actually like the name when he made the decision to change it, as he recently told Danny Green on his show “Inside the Green Room with Danny Green”. Moreover, he admitted that he had recently changed it again to Metta Sandiford-Artest after getting married to Maya Sandiford:
“The first game that I had with World Peace, I was like, ‘This is the dumbest thing ever.’ I was coming off of the bench at that time, in 2011, and they say, ‘Metta World Peace!’ And I remember not wanting to take off my warm-up. It was embarrassing. So I did think about changing my name back, but then I got used, people got used to it. But right now, it’s funny because I got married, and my name now is Metta Sandiford-Artest. I actually took my wife’s last name,” a laughing Metta claimed.
Also, the former Laker denied having changed his name to ‘Panda’s Friend’ during his brief stint in China, claiming it was just a rumor that caught on and he rode with it:
“People said, ‘Metta’s changing his name to ‘Panda Friend!’“ he said. “So I just rode with it!” Artest concluded.
Regardless of his name, Artest will go down as one of the toughest defenders in NBA history and one of the last guys every player wanted to see in the rival team night in and night out.