UPDATE 1:10 pm: Sorry folks, no World Peace today. The name change has been delayed to Sept. 16.
9:15 am: Today, August 26, there is only World Peace.
There is no more Ron Artest.
At some point today, a judge in Los Angeles will officially sign that paper that will change the name of Lakers forward Ron Artest to Metta World Peace.
It’s a very Artest… er, World Peace thing to do, and he spoke with Marc Spears of Yahoo about the change.
“You can call me Ron today and then it’s over. It’s a wrap,” Artest said. “It’s about love, world peace. Everybody can relate to that, whether it’s in the same community or the same state or the same country or whether it’s a country going to war.
“It’s about world peace. You know what I mean? The kids need to know that, and they know that now.”
Artest, who wore 15 in a tribute to Michael Jackson last season for the Lakers, will also switch numbers to 70. Why?
“I’m changing it to 70 because it’s like something to do with the universe,” Artest said. “Everything kind of repeats itself. The universe is one. It’s the same thing. Healthy minds, just keeping the kids positive.”
No word on what number he would wear with the Cheshire Jets in England if he plays there, a deal likely not to go through because of insurance issues (the club cannot find affordable insurance for his salary should he be injured).