In fact, the 31-year-old L.A. Lakers forward recently filed paperwork to have his name legally changed to Metta World Peace. "It's true, he did," his former publicist Heidi Buech told The Los Angeles Times.
As of Thursday afternoon, Artest has yet to file paperwork with the NBA to change the name on the back of his jersey. "My understanding is 'Metta' will be his first name and 'World Peace' will be his last," Lakers spokesman John Black said.
Artest will appear in court August 26 for a name-change hearing, according to court records.
The attorney who filed the proposal, Jill Rubin, told the L.A. Times she was handling the change of her client's name "procedurally, as a matter of course." She had no additional information as to why he chose the unusual moniker.