Metta World What?: Five Superstars Who Should Change Their Names Like Ron Artest

Craig RondinoneCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2011

Metta World What?: Five Superstars Who Should Change Their Names Like Ron Artest

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    Many professional sports stars are game changers, but nowadays many of them also want to be name changers. 

    With the Los Angeles Lakers’ Ron Artest officially changing his name to Metta World Peace last week, and with all the hubbub that surrounded Cincinnati Bengals receiver/reality show star/rodeo rider Chad Johnson changing back and forth between Johnson and Ochocinco as his last name, it got me thinking about what other sports stars should change their names and what they should change them to. 

    Here are five guys I think should consider changing their names and what would best fit them.  Let me know if you think I should be a professional name changer!

LeBron James to LeBron Sedin

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    James’ fourth-quarter disappearing acts in the NBA Finals rivaled the nightly vanishing routines of the Vancouver Canucks’ Sedin twins in the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals, so why not change his last name to one synonymous with poor playoff performances? 

    James’ “King” nickname would sound much better with a last name like Sedin.  “Here comes King Sedin!” seems like a line straight out of Conan the Barbarian.  This could also open more doors for the LeBron brand internationally, as he might not be a huge enough star in Daniel and Henrik’s homeland.  Only coming out with his own album of ABBA covers would top this idea if James wanted to increase his marketability in Sweden. 

    James used to be one of the most popular players in the NBA.  Now he is one of the most despised.  It is time to turn his rep around, and changing his name could be a step—or in his case, a travel— in the right direction. 

A.J. Burnett to Andy Roddick Burnett or A.J. Halladay

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    Burnett has all the physical tools and talents to be an All-Star pitcher, yet his 98-mph fastball and drop-off-the-table curve never translate into 20-win seasons or Cy Young awards.  In fact in a decade-plus in the major leagues, Burnett has only won more than 13 games in a season once. 

    So Burnett is a lot like Roddick, a man who possesses one of the fastest serves and some of the greatest groundstrokes in tennis, but who continually flames out in the early rounds of major tournaments.  Maybe a change in name could result in a change of fortunes for Burnett?  Changing uniforms certainly did not help since his ERA and WHIP with the New York Yankees is even higher than it was during his years with the Florida Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays.  

    Or Burnett could go the opposite way and change his last name to Halladay, since he had the best season of his career while having Roy Halladay as his mentor in Toronto.  The positive vibes from this name change could get Burnett throwing the same way he did back in 2008. 

    One name change Burnett will definitely reject—A.J. Posada.

Charles Barkley to Cycle Monticule De Terrible Golf Swings

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    If you are not bilingual, Cycle Monticule is French for Round Mound.  You can understand the rest, as “terrible golf swing” is universal in every language and remains the same in French.

    Barkley was often referred to as the “Round Mound of Rebound” back in his basketball playing days.  Now he should be labeled as the “Round Mound of Terrible Golf Swings” because of his infamous windup before his errant drives off the tee.  His golf swing is so notorious it helped get him a television show solely devoted to it, and videos of his swing have been viewed millions of times on You Tube. 

    And Barkley is still a round mound, although he has been losing some weight recently.  The next time he wants to take a break from belittling Miami Heat fans on TNT he should use this newly-formed name as an alter ego and land himself another television show, especially since there might not be any basketball for him to talk about for quite a while.   

Justin Morneau to Injury-Waiting-To-Happen

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    The Minnesota Twins have been the most injury-plagued club in baseball this season, and leading the way in ailments has been their power-hitting first baseman, Mr. Morneau.

    Morneau missed the second half of last season and had his career jeopardized by a concussion.  Yes, a concussion.  Even though baseball is far from a contact sport (especially when Mark Reynolds is batting), Morneau has suffered multiple concussions during his career, and his last one left his professional life hanging on by a thread just like Sidney Crosby’s.

    But Morneau made his fantasy owners and Twins fans happier than Billy Beane at an on-base percentage seminar when he was able to suit up for Opening Day this season.  Too bad nothing has gone right for him since. 

    Morneau showed absolutely no power at the plate, hitting just four homers and knocking in 21 runs in 55 games.  He was placed on the disabled list with a wrist injury, then while on the DL decided to undergo neck surgery on top of it.  We will not see him on the field again until August, if at all.  His body is breaking down more often than mine does after I hit Taco Bell and White Castle in the same day.        

    Morneau could shorten his name to I.W.T.H. and then could be to baseball what HHH is to pro wrestling.  Come to think of it, HHH is always hurt, too!  Plus, think about all of the medical supplies Morneau could endorse! 

    If Morneau passes on the name, Seattle's injury-prone pitcher Erik Bedard could use it.  

Monta Ellis to Many Much More Shots

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    Has a basketball player who has shot and scored as much as Ellis gotten so little recognition in the history of the NBA? 

    I know Ellis plays with the Golden State Warriors, which is akin to playing football for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, but no one averaged more field goal attempts per game than Ellis did this past season (What? Not even Kobe?), and he finished eighth in the league in scoring. 

    Ellis loves shooting at hoops about as much as Ted Nugent loves shooting at animals. So why not change his name to a hip-hop sounding moniker that glorifies his addiction to shooting? This would definitely get his name mentioned more by the national press, and it rolls right off the tongue. 

    Keep jacking up those jump shots, MMMS!      

    Other names to consider changing: The Dallas Mavericks as The Metta World Beaters, Kevin Love as The Great Reboundo, Phil Mickelson as Bunker Plunker, Hines Ward as Hines Astaire, and Plaxico Burress as Keep Your Damn Gun at Home!