Its safe to say you won’t see Ron Artest running down the NBA courts anymore. And before you jump to conclusions, no he’s not retiring, at least from the NBA at this time, but what is retired is his name, in exchange for one that is linked to the Eastern religion, Buddhism.
Friday, after a judge granted his petition, the Los Angeles Laker's small forward formerly known as Ron Artest has officially changed his name to Metta World Peace. The term “Metta” has its origins in the Theravada school of Buddhism, meaning loving-kindness, which is to be practiced towards others.
The NBA player, previously known as Ron Artest is not only known for his notable skills on the basketball court, receiving the title “NBA Defensive Player of the Year” in 2004 and now NBA world champion, but also for his sometimes crude behavior.
One of the most noticeable incidents of his career, was his central involvement in the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl in 2004, which led to record breaking suspension times for players in NBA history. The name change is yet another mark in his interesting public history.
After the legal hearing, World Peace explained his thinking behind the name change.
“My name change was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world.”
Although World Peace hasn’t officially made any public claims to Buddhism or any other religion, the name change may provide implications to his religious standings.
Buddhism is one of the largest religions in America behind Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and nonreligious. Christianity still serves as the world’s largest religion, reaching beyond the confines of meditation, and entering into a personal relationship with the God of the universe through the sacrificial love shown by His Son.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in shall not perish but have eternal life.” - John 3:16
If World Peace is looking for true peace, he should come to the One that died so that there could peace between God and man and receive this love that transforms one’s life from water to wine. With this vertical relationship in tact, then the horizontal, from man to man will be in tact.
We all want this perfect love, but we can’t give what we don’t have. We all need to come to Christ and let Him fill us with His perfect love. Then, we can love others in this way and bring a world of peace.