Ron Artest won't attend hearing Friday for proposed name change to Metta World Peace
In less than 24 hours, the transformation for Ron Artest may finally take place.
He may officially become "Metta World Peace."
According to a person close to Artest who wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter, however, Artest doesn't plan to attend Friday's name-changing hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. at Los Angeles Superior Court. The attorney who filed the proposal, Jill Rubin, will be in attendance.
Though it hasn't become official, Artest's proposed name change has already gained plenty of traction since June 23 when he filed the paperwork. Although court records indicate Artest wanted to change his name for "personal reasons," he's shared in multiple interviews that it brings greater awareness toward world peace and mental health issues.
Artest has poked fun at the name and the persona it's created in various skits during his summer comedy tour. He even presented a new Laker jersey featuring "World Peace" on the back during Lopez Tonight's series finale.
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Photo: Ron Artest, the Lakers forward who may one day be known as Metta World Peace, onstage as standup comic. Credit: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times