Metta World Peace has done something no other NBA player has done before — changed his name twice. When the former NBA star came into the league, he was known as Ron Artest. In 2011, Ron Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace. Now, his name is Metta Sandiford-Artest, and he explained the reasoning for the second name change on Inside the Green Room with Danny Green.
"My name now is 'Metta Sandiford-Artest,'" he said, as transcribed by Entertainment Tonight. "I actually took my wife's last and added it to mine... The first game that I had with 'World Peace,' I was like, 'This is the dumbest thing ever. I was coming off of the bench at that time, in 2011, and they say, 'Metta World Peace!' And I remember not wanting to take off my warm up. It was embarrassing. So I did think about changing my name back, but then I got used, people got used [to] it." Sandiford-Artest is married to Maya Sandiford.
The second name change is more subtle than the first. When he made the announcement of changing his name from Ron Artest to Metta World Peace, he told the Los Angeles Times: "I changed my name because I got tired of Ron Artest, he's a [expletive]. And when fans get mad at me, they can't say, 'I hate World Peace.'" Metta is a Buddhist term meaning "loving kindness." When he was Metta World Peace, he was able to be more of a veteran leader since he started his NBA career in 1999. However, when he was Ron Artest, he got into a lot of trouble, including being suspended for 86 games in 2004 when he got into a fight with a fan when he was a member of the Indiana Pacers. This happened just months after he was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Sandiford-Artest was drafted by the Bulls No. 16 overall in the 1999 NBA Draft. Along with spending time with the Bulls and Pacers, Sandiford-Artest also played for the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks. He helped the Lakers win the NBA championship in 2010. He ended his playing career in Los Angeles in 2017, which led to him being a player developmental coach for the South Bay Lakers of the NBA G League.