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Ron Artest One-Ups Chad Ochocinco, Changing Name to Metta World Peace Today

Andre Khatchaturian@AndreKhatchCorrespondent IIIAugust 26, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20:  Ron Artest #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Staples Center on March 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20: Ron Artest #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Staples Center on March 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

We all remembered how insane it was when Chad Johnson changed his name to Chad Ochocinco. We all anticipated what it would sound like when Joe Buck or Jim Nantz would say, "And Ochocinco makes the catch!"

We wanted to see how it would feel like seeing the name Ochocinco on a Yahoo! Sports football box score. We didn't think anybody would do something crazier than that.

But then the man who celebrated his NBA championship with a box of Wheaties and by thanking his psychiatrist came along.

Ron Artest officially announced, according to Yahoo Sports, that he will be changing his name to Metta World Peace today.

"You can call me Ron today and then it’s over," Artest said. "It’s a wrap. It’s about love, world peace. Everybody can relate to that, whether it’s in the same community or the same state or the same country or whether it’s a country going to war."

It's kind of difficult to make sense of this whole ordeal, but then again, it's Ron Artest. 

I'm sorry. I meant Metta World Peace.

The Lakers forward will also change his number yet again. This time he will wear No. 70.

Oh, boy.

This marks the fourth consecutive season where Metta World Peace has changed his number. He was No. 96 in Houston. Then after signing with the Lakers, he changed his number to 37 to honor Michael Jackson. After winning a title he changed his number to 15 and now he will wear No. 70. 

“I’m changing it to 70 because it’s like something to do with the universe,” Artest said. “Everything kind of repeats itself. The universe is one. It’s the same thing. Healthy minds, just keeping the kids positive.”

Honestly, though, good for him. 

He's gone through a long journey. He was once the most hated man in the NBA after he charged into the crowd in Auburn Hills. He's gone through his ups and downs. He's a man who has actually changed for the better.

When most people say they will change or make improvements in their life, it's usually just talk. It's one thing to talk the talk but another thing to walk the walk. 

Metta World Peace's transformation shows a lot about his character. He's become a fun-loving and peaceful man who cares for children and the sick. This is the same man who auctioned off his championship ring for mental health awareness. 

He has overcome many mountains. After his year-long suspension, his career could've entered a downward spiral. His life could've even made a turn for the worse. But it's good to see that none of that happened. Artest, or World Peace, is a champion both on and off the court, and he has every right to have some fun and change his name to something wacky.

UPDATE: Ron Artest is still Ron Artest.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AmuZN.1cgCR4UtpU8oO_QgW8vLYF?slug=mc-spears_ron_artest_name_change_082511

According to Yahoo! Sports, Artest has outstanding traffic violations and will not be able to change his name until September 16th after he has paid off the fines. 

Another crazy turn in this story. But then again, that was expected. 

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