Former Lakers Star Reveals What Prompted Him to Change His Name to Metta World Peace

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Former Lakers star and NBA Champion Metta Sandiford-Artest is considered one of the more eccentric players of the 2000s. Outside changing his name to Metta World Peace, he also had a lot of controversial incidents in the NBA. From his role in ‘The Malice At The Palace‘ to his name change, the former Defensive Player of the Year kept the fans always entertained. He won a title with the Lakers in 2010.

Metta recently appeared on the ‘All The Smoke’ podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.

He first revealed what name he is going by now. “Metta Sandiford-Artest. I took my wife’s last name and my last name back. I got married. She’s Maya Sandiford-Artest and I’m Metta Sandiford-Artest. Metta World Peace, I still go by that.”

After being prompted by Barnes, Metta revealed what went through his head when he ditched the name ‘Ron Artest’. “I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be as a baller. When things are getting in the way of basketball, like I just wanna win a game, so just trying to be a little bit different. I really liked the sport. So I wanted to be who I wanted to be rather than who somebody else thought I was.”

Lakers and their success with Artest

Lakers' Metta World Peace
Lakers forward Metta World Peace warms up before a game against the Golden State Warriors on Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Artest joined LA after their 2009 title run on a five-year contract. While the contract was considered risky because of Artest’s multiple issues, the Lakers stood by their new acquisition. That proved to be a fantastic move, as Artest hit one of the most famous shots in Lakers’ history. It was a game-winning buzzer-beater against the Phoenix Suns in the 2010 Western Conference Finals.

While Artest had a strong start to his Lakers’ career, he would never win a title again. He would play till 2013 before being released. He would return to LA in 2015 and was a part of the Lakers’ team for the retirement of Kobe Bryant. While he may have a revolving door of names, everyone can remember Artest as a champion and one of the standout defensive players of his era.

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