After not receiving much interest among NBA teams, one-time NBA champion Metta World Peace has chosen to take his talents to China. World Peace recently signed with Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association and is already making news overseas.
According to China Daily, the man formerly known as Ron Artest is changing his name once again:
New high-profile import playing for Chinese basketball Association club Sichuan Blue Whales is known as Ron Artest but intends to change his name to “Panda Friend” in honor of his move to China.
World Peace, who is known in China as “Ci Shiping”, a literal translation of “Metta World Peace,” now plans to name himself after China’s giant panda, a precious animal based in Southwest China’s Sichuan province, where his new team is also based.
It’s not all that surprising that World Peace or the soon-to-be-called “Panda Friend” would change his name for a second time. The former Laker has always been one to do whatever he wants whenever he wants.
Even though his time in NBA might be over, World Peace will always be relevant and a fan favorite in Los Angeles. It’d be safe to assume that kind of popularity with fans for saying and doing whatever he feels will carryover to China.
Seriously doubt World Peace will be contending with Kobe Bryant in terms of popularity in China, but there’s no doubt he’ll make his presence known with the Blue Wales.[divide]
Lakers Top 5 Free Agent Signings Of All-Time