On the night of the NBA Draft, it's not surprising that Ron Artest is in the news. After all, the Lakers have been rumored in a number of potential deals, including potentially with Philadelphia for Andre Iguodala. However, Artest is in the news for another reason, namely that he is changing his name... to Metta World Peace.â†µ
"Artest has informed the Lakers of his plans but has not yet filed paperwork with the NBA to apply for a name change on the back of his jersey," reported Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times. My first reaction that this is a blatant ripoff of World B. Free (nee Lloyd B. Free), who filled it up for 13 seasons in the 1970s and 1980s.â†µ
World B. Free in 1987-1988 (Getty Images)
But in many ways, the name change for Artest is fitting, and not just for the opportunity to buy a Lakers' jersey with "World Peace" on the back. After all, world peace is a noble idea that is great in theory but is as unlikely to happen in reality as it is that Artest will live up to the three years and roughly $21.8 million left on his contract. But, banners fly forever, and Artest will always be remembered by Lakers fans for his epic Game 7 in the 2010 NBA Finals.â†µ
For more news and information on Ron Artest and the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.