Ron Artest officially changed his name to Metta World Peace today.
His name change mirrors the personal change he’s undergone in the last decade.
Today, he’s a fun-loving, harmless wacko who’s set to embarrass himself on Dancing With The Stars.
But he was once a destruction thug who started one of the ugliest brawls in NBA history.
Artest grew up in Queensbridge, New York City. When he was 12, he witnessed a player get murdered at a pickup game after another man broke off the leg of a table and stabbed him with it
He attended St. John's University. He was first-team All-Big East, leading his team to a 50-19 record in his two seasons
He was traded to Indiana in 2002, and started to become the Artest we know today, on and off the court
He paid for dozens of friends and family members to visit him from Queensbridge. ESPN did a photo essay of his entourage that included 30 different hangers-on
A year later he was suspended three games and fined $35,000 for destroying camera equipment after a loss to the Knicks. Here's the damage
Despite his volatile behaviour, he had a career year in 2003-04. He made the All-Star team and was named Defensive Player of the Year. But on November 19, 2004, Artest's career took a nosedive
Someone threw a drink at Artest toward the end of the Pacers-Pistons game in Detroit, and Ron then charged into the stands and started a wild melee. Artest was suspended from the remainder of the season — losing him $5 million in salary
He did so-so with the Kings on the court. Off it, he was arrested for shoving a woman in the face and suspended indefinitely by the NBA in March 2007
He averaged 17 points on a Rockets team that did surprisingly well, making the playoffs. He parlayed his success into a contract with the Lakers
He also got help off the court. After winning the title, he thanked his psychiatrist in a strangely touching postgame interview
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