Metta World Peace, once known as Ron Artest, is changing his name to a less ambitious moniker: The Panda’s Friend.
Guys my chinese name is not “Panda Friend” , its “The Pandas Friend”.
— mettaworldpeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) August 7, 2014
World Peace signed a one-year deal worth $1.43 million with the Sichuan Blue Whales, naming himself after China’s giant panda, which is based in Sichuan province. He had tweeted, “First thing I am doing when I get to china will be visiting Pandas with my daughter @BabyGirl_Sade.” Another tweet followed with, “New Chinese name coming soon. You guys are going to love it!!!!”
World Peace changed his name from Ron Artest in September 2011. A well-traveled player, he started his career with the Chicago Bulls in 1999, was traded to the Indiana Pacers in 2002, was traded to the Sacramento Kings in 2006, was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2008, was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009, then let go in 2013, whereupon he was signed by the New York Knicks in 2013 for two years, but then bought out by the Knicks 7 months later.
He is most well-known for his altercation with fans in the stands in 2004, prompting an 18-game suspension, the longest suspension in NBA history for an on-the-floor incident.