The Basketball Player Formerly Known as Ron Artest and Metta World Peace Is Now ‘the Pandas Friend’

Metta World Peace arrives at the Imagine Ball at House of Blues Sunset Strip on Aug. 6, 2014, in West Hollywood, Calif.
Araya Diaz/Getty Images

In today’s “he has too much time on his hands” news, Ron Artest—I mean Metta World Peace—is apparently changing his name as he embarks on a move to the Chinese Basketball Association.

Artest (your momma named you Ron Artest, so I’m going to call you Ron Artest) will be known as the Pandas Friend while playing for the Sichuan Blue Whales this season, the 34-year-old confirmed on Twitter Thursday.


It’s not clear whether Artest plans on officially changing his name to “the Pandas Friend,” but he’ll have an extra $1.43 million in his pocket to do so. Artest’s Blue Whales salary will make him the highest-paid player in the CBA.

When Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace, people had their fair share of jokes, and this time is no different:


You can’t make this stuff up, even if you try. I'm going to need “the Pandas Friend” to phone a friend before he makes this official. 

Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.


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