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Category: Ron Artest

Ladies and gentlemen, Ron Artest becomes Metta World Peace!

Photo: Metta World Peace. Credit: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times.   

Amid labor discord that threatens to delay, if not wipe out, the NBA season, there is suddenly World Peace.

He is 6 feet 7, wears No. 15 for the Lakers and once participated in the infamous "Palace Brawl."

Anyone now making his acquaintance will be meeting Metta World Peace. Those on a first-name basis can call him Metta, while those a little farther removed can buy jerseys with his last name of World Peace stretched across the back.

The most ballyhooed name change of the year became official Friday morning when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge commissioner approved Ron Artest's request to be called something else.

According to World Peace's publicist, Courtney Barnes, the Lakers forward had been contemplating the switch for years but "it took years of research and soul-searching to find a first name that was both personally meaningful and inspirational." Metta is a Buddhist term that means loving kindness and friendliness toward others.

Artest -- er, World Peace -- had hoped to adopt the new moniker last month but was rebuffed because of an outstanding traffic ticket. Ticket paid, World Peace can now reign.

And it may be spreading fast. Artest's 8-year-old daughter, Diamond, has said she wants to adopt her father's new surname.

World Peace was scheduled to attend Friday's hearing, but his attorney, Nahla Rajan, announced at 9:50 a.m. that he would not be coming. Commissioner Matthew C. St. George approved the name change a few minutes later in a hearing that lasted about 30 seconds.

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Ron Artest's daughter embracing World Peace

Concerns about Ron Artest's distractions miss the point

Ron Artest to donate money earned on 'Dancing With the Stars' to cancer research

-- Ben Bolch

Photo: Metta World Peace. Credit: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times.

Ron Artest plans to attend name-change hearing

Ron Artest

Lakers forward Ron Artest will find out first-hand whether he will become Metta World Peace.

His publicist, Courtney Barnes, told The Times that Artest plans to attend Friday's hearing at L.A. Superior Court, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Artest had an Aug. 26 hearing postponed because of two traffic tickets, but Barnes said that shouldn't be an issue.

"It's all resolved," he said.

--Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Ron Artest. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.

Ron Artest should remain a starter

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The gesture sounds humble and forthcoming from Ron Artest.

Lakers fans better hope, however, that his recent suggestion that he may come off the bench next season just reflects his unpredictability. It shouldn't be something Coach Mike Brown seriously considers.

Sure, Artest is coming off a season in which he had a career-low  8.5 points on 39.7% shooting. The team wants to add speed. Brown also wants to hold players more accountable. Barring Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak somehow trading away his three-year, $21.8-million contract, however, Artest should remain in the starting lineup.

It's tempting to insert Lamar Odom to showcase the team's triple-tower lineup with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. That would only slow the Lakers in transition. It's plausible to think Matt Barnes could start at small forward should he restore the consistency he displayed last season before suffering a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee. But no one can know for sure how long it will take Barnes to restore his full rhythm after a prolonged rehab. And in both instances, the Lakers would lose the lockdown defense Artest usually provides.

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Concerns about Ron Artest's distractions miss the point

6a00d8341c506253ef0153911ffe38970b-320wiSpraying cologne on a television reporter after the Lakers' embarrassing defeat to Charlotte caused a huge stink.

Tweeting about his mixtape release soon after the Lakers' loss at Cleveland sounded bad.

Considering playing overseas in Great Britain seemed more an act to land a soap opera gig than to play high-quality basketball.  

Artest's antics leave Lakers fans and possibly teammates amused when they win and annoyed when they lose. But don't call Artest distracted or complacent after winning a championship ring. Call him a well-intentioned player who has shown a mixed bag in juggling a busy schedule, which has little correlation to how he plays basketball.

"One media guy said you doing too much tv," Artest tweeted Wednesday evening. "He wants me to focus on ball everyday. Seven days a week! What's a good amount of time to focus on basketball for Ron artest in the summer. Is there a set schedule that I am missing?"

This issue always sparks debate. Artest, in a rare moment, acknowledged one time last season that "I do stretch myself thin." I also witnessed Artest before a regular-season game arriving 20 minutes late because of traffic to LA Live, where he introduced his public service announcement with the L.A. County Department of Mental Health. He then rushed to Staples Center just before 6 p.m., the required time every Lakers player must be in the locker room for a 7:30 p.m. game. But should Artest struggle next season, little of it will point to distractions and most of it will point to ability.

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Will the NBA players union decertify?

David Stern

--Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that several high-profile agents are getting closer to signing a petition with 30% of the NBA’s players needed to bring a formal vote on dissolving the union.

--The New York Times' Howard Beck looks at the possibility the NBA players union might decertify. 

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding explains why Lakers owner Jerry Buss will accept league revenue sharing.

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe breaks down what a hard cap means for the league structure. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky has an in-depth Q&A with Lakers forward Ron Artest about "Dancing with the Stars" and playing for Mike Brown, among other topics.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller jokes he may consider writing in Europe should the NBA lockout persist.

--Sheridanhoop's Chris Sheridan details Juan Carlos Navarro's sharp-shooting performance in Spain's win over Macedonia. 

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Ron Artest rehearses for 'Dancing With the Stars'

Ron Artest

*We're going to have a live chat at 4 p.m. Bring your questions!

Two years passed and Lakers forward Ron Artest still doesn't fully understand the triangle offense.

So it'd only be natural to assume the learning curve to master a dance routine for his Monday debut on "Dancing With the Stars" could prove just as difficult. Artest and his publicist Courtney Barnes have both admitted he can't dance. Artest has said his often follows Fat Joe's to "Lean Back" when he's out at night. Artest also once joked he doesn't have enough flexible hips to pull off a legitimate move.

Yet, an ESPN's interview aired Tuesday night on "SportsCenter" showed Artest and partner Peta Murgatroyd looking decent during a recent rehearsal.

"I was a big fan of Michael Jackson when I was young," Artest said. "But now it's ballroom dancing and cha cha."

Whether that proves enough to beat Rob Kardashian and company remains to be seen. Murgatroyd credited Artest's 6-7, 260-pound muscular frame as a plus, but that his footwork still could use improvement. That's OK. He's still working in that department on the basketball court. But Artest promised to come through just like he did in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, acting nonchalant over any looming pressure. After all, football stars Emmitt Smith and Hines Ward represented the sports world well by winning in 2006 and 2010, respectively.

"I do have some big shoes, but they don't wear my size anyway," Artest said of Smith and Ward. "I have a Size 16. They wear a Size 12 or 11. It should be pretty easy to fill their shoes and I'll have some left over."

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Ron Artest's daughter embracing World Peace

Ron Artest to donate money earned on 'Dancing With the Stars' to cancer research

Ron Artest says he'll pay parking tickets to become Metta World Peace

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: "Dancing with the Stars" introduced the latest cast of wannabe dancers this week. HLN's "Tot Mom" host Nancy Grace and Sonny and Cher's daughter-turned-son Chaz Bono got the most buzz. Los Angeles Laker Ron Artest, actor David Arquette, soap star and Iraq War veteran J.R. Martinez, TV personalities Rob Kardashian, Ricki Lake and Kristin Cavallari, singer Chynna Phillips, soccer player Hope Solo and George Clooney's ex Elisabetta Canalis round out the lineup. Credit: Adam Taylor / Associated Press

Ron Artest's daughter embracing World Peace

Ron Artest

It turns out there is one person besides Ron Artest who wants to change their last name to World Peace.

His 8-year-old daughter, Diamond, also intends to do so out of "love and respect for her father," according to a person close to Artest who wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

TMZ.com, the celebrity gossip site, first reported the news. Meanwhile, Artest will appear on ABC's hit show "Dancing With the Stars" beginning Monday and says he will donate his earnings from the show to the Cancer Research Foundation in honor of Diamond overcoming kidney cancer. According to Artest's Twitter account (@MettaWorldPeace), Diamond will also release a single Oct. 3 titled "Fighter," about her overcoming cancer.

But first things first. Artest will find out Friday whether his proposed new name -- Metta World Peace -- can become official. It was expected that the name change would be made legal at a hearing Aug. 26, but his request was denied because of two unpaid traffic violations. Artest said he would take care of that matter to clear the way for his name change.

"Once that process is completed," the person close to Artest said, "they'll look at what the process is for Diamond."

RELATED:

Ron Artest eats an entire orange

Ron Artest to donate money earned on 'Dancing With the Stars' to cancer research

Ron Artest says he'll pay parking tickets to become Metta World Peace

-- Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo credit: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

Ron Artest eats an entire orange [Video]

There are only three news items that have stayed relevant throughout this NBA off-season.

--Contract negotiation meetings: They're kind of important because they determine when and if there is a 2011-12 season.

--Will a player go overseas? That matters to the player's salary and marketing brand and to the team's sudden concern over possible injury.

--And finally, anything Ron Artest does, which provides a nice distraction to the crickets constantly chirping.

The latest news item that's only newsworthy because there is an NBA lockout involves Artest's eating an entire orange including the skin after practicing for his upcoming appearance Sept. 19 on "Dancing With the Stars" (h/t to Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin). But you probably won't have to wait an entire week for another dose of Artest's shenanigans. The public will find out Sept. 16 whether he actually paid his parking tickets and whether he can legally change his name to Metta World Peace.

For now, appreciate that even though Artest may be consumed with everything but basketball this off-season, at least he's getting his daily fruit intake.

RELATED:

Ron Artest to donate money earned on 'Dancing With the Stars' to cancer research

Ron Artest says he'll pay parking tickets to become Metta World Peace

-- Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Ron Artest guarantees Lakers will win 2012 NBA title

Ron ArtestThe picture you see on the left of Kobe Bryant pouring the champagne over Ron Artest's head perfectly captures the excitement following the Lakers' Game 7 win over the Boston Celtics to secure the 2010 NBA title.

That champagne celebration happened just as Artest began to pour out his emotions. When reporters arrived moments later, Artest recapped the circuitous route he took to finally arrive at this point, a destination that proved as lengthy as his recollection. Then, in one of the most memorable postgame press conferences, Artest thanks his psychologist.

It may all feel like a distant memory considering how the Lakers ended the 2011 postseason with a four-game sweep to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals. But Artest guaranteed to ESPN Los Angeles' Stephen A. Smith in a 40-minute interview Wednesday that the Lakers will again pop the champagne bottles after winning the 2012 NBA title. Assuming there's a season of course.

"Win it all," Artest said when asked what will the Lakers do in the 2011-2012 season. "Win the whole thing. That's a guarantee."

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Ex-Laker Javaris Crittenton waives extradition in murder case

Javaris CrittentonFormer Laker Javaris Crittenton on Wednesday waived his right to challenge extradition to face a murder charge in the drive-by shooting death of a mother of four, according to a report by Reuters.

Crittenton was arrested by the FBI on Monday night at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana and taken into custody just as he was about to board a flight to Atlanta, reportedly to turn himself in to authorities. He was jailed in Los Angeles on a charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

He appeared in court Wednesday before a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, who ordered Crittenton to remain held without bail until he returns to his home state. The judge, Upinder Kalra, said Georgia authorities have until Sept. 15 to pick up Crittenton and bring him back to Atlanta. 

Authorities allege that Crittenton fatally shot Jullian Jones on Aug. 19 in the woman's driveway in Atlanta. Police told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Crittenton, 23, had reported being robbed of jewelry earlier this year and might have mistaken Jones as the thief when he allegedly opened fire as he drove by in a sport utility vehicle. Police had been searching for him for several days. 

More links below the jump.

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