Lakers star formerly known as Ron Artest has successfully changed his name to “Metta World Peace” in order to "inspire."
The athlete’s publicist, Courtney Barnes, said World Peace had considered changing his name 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.”
Barnes added the player selected “Metta” because it is a traditional Buddhist term meaning love and kindness toward all.
The publicist was also able to confirm that World Peace’s eight-year-old daughter Diamond will pursue taking on her father’s new last name.
World Peace, 31, requested the name change in June, citing only personal reasons.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court commissioner approved the name change on September 17; three months later, due to his outstanding traffic tickets.
“Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world,” World Peace said in a statement. “After this short delay, my tickets have been paid and I’m glad that it’s now official.”
World Peace was unable to attend the hearing Friday, with Barnes explaining his schedule is full. He was announced earlier this month as a new cast member on season 13 of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
The first star to be eliminated from “Dancing with the Stars” Tuesday, World Peace will now have more spare time.
Growing up in a rough neighborhood and having a history with violent behavior, World Peace is known for his sometimes eccentric and outspoken behavior.
World Peace is not the only athlete to go about changing their name.
Muhammad Ali, widely recognized as the greatest boxer of all time, was born Cassius Clay.
In 1981, NBA player Lloyd Bernard Free legally changed his name to World B. Free.
Also, former “DWTS” cast member and fellow athlete Chad Ochocinco changed his name in 2008 from Chad Johnson.