Oh, and he's not trying. In fact, he's taking the transition as an opportunity to pick out a new nickname with the help of his fans.
Don't believe anyone who said I'm changing my name again. I am letting fans give me a new nick name. I am not legally changing my name.— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) July 26, 2013
Ill be picking my new nickname from a fan in two weeks.— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) July 26, 2013
Will Metta choose something distinctly New York? A variation on World Peace? Maybe something that's helped define his 14-year career. There are no shortage of good ideas from which to draw. And—as my list will demonstrate shortly—there are some pretty bad ideas too.
But we'll let Metta be the judge of all that.
Video proof that Metta World Peace is a tease.
Deidre Behar—Can you tease us?
Metta World Peace—No, I can't tease you.
But you just did! This whole interview was one big tease! Just embrace it. Also, going by "The Tease" would be the league's least intimidating monicker by far. Just imagine Jeff Van Gundy having to say it over and over with a straight face.
Even if Metta World Peace does no wrong in your eyes, there's a good chance he has at some point caused a silent voice in your head to say "Puhhh-Lease."
Exhibit A: Metta World Peace earns a flagrant foul by cradling Brandon Knight's head for an abnormally long period of time. When Knight forces his way out of the headlock, World Peace acts shocked and borderline offended. Check out Knight's reaction after he's pulled away. It's a look of bemused annoyance that can only mean one thing.
I've discovered something amazing back at the laboratory.
If you say "Metta-Ball-Hawk" really fast, it sounds like "metabolic." Metta World Peace is in fact a Metta-Ball-Hawk. He's averaged 1.8 steals per game over the course of his career and as many as 2.8 in a single season.
As for the significance of "metabolic," it mostly just sounds vaguely scientific and therefore important. But it also has something to do with the way cells undergo chemical change. Metta World Peace would probably find very deep meaning in that.
Metta World Peace grew up with roaches everywhere. They left such an indelible mark on his psyche that to this day, when someone says "road trips," he apparently hears "roaches." Over the course of his extensive comments on the subject, we learn that while Metta doesn't want to be around them, he does consider them "friends," what with their frequent forays into his cereal and macaroni.
Sometimes Twitter just doesn't do this guy justice.
Merriam-Webster defines "metaphysics" as "a division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being." Metta World Peace has been nothing if not concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being.
He's gotten to the very essence of teeth and pondered his sexiness vis-a-vis cats inasmuch as something like that can be pondered. He's forced us to reconsider our most basic understandings about reality in the process. Ahead of his time? Or beyond time and space altogether?
We've long known Metta World Peace was from another dimension—or maybe even still there.
After spending the main act of his career with five other teams, Metta World Peace's return to New York is a homecoming of sorts. Sure, "The Homecoming King" is way too obvious to actually use, but consider the possibility of Metta World Peace wearing a specially designed crown to post-game press conferences.
Whatever the nickname, the crown needs to happen. I'd also support a cape.
This may well be the worst nickname idea anyone's ever had, but I stand by it.
It's about time Ron Artest became a verb, so that's the first thought behind this. What's "Ron Artesting," you ask? I'd like to define it as whatever happened after winning the 2010 NBA Finals. The first rule of Ron Artesting is that you aren't allowed to be tired. Even if you just finished winning a seven-game series, you must remain the most amped-up person in the room.
The second rule of Ron Artesting? Answer questions until it's time to go to the club. Then go to the club and Ron Artest the night away.
If you're looking for a deeper meaning to this nickname, by all means, think of one for me. I just like saying it aloud.
Could a nickname turn into a future career?
If you've watched this clip, you know the answer to that question already. An unconventional weatherman to be sure, World Peace understands this much about meteorology: It's not about the weather—it's about the style.
OK, it should probably have something to do with the weather too.
Metta still has his work cut out for him in that respect. He also might want to keep working on those "yoga" moves of his. I'd like to think of it as more of an interpretive dance—another past-time we shouldn't put past World Peace.
Even when today's Metta World Peace loses his composure, it's still a far cry from his Ron Artest days. The trick is find something a little grittier than "Metta World Peace" without having to bring "Artest" into it. The solution?
Metta World War III.
It might not have the same traction as a social statement, and it definitely doesn't have the same ring to it. Come game time, though, this nickname will send a message to absolutely anyone who's easily persuaded by nicknames.
That does it for my ideas, so how about some good ones? What are you calling Metta these days?