Becoming Metta World Peace: 31 Bizarre Years In The Life Of Ron Artest

metta world peace

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 taken 16th-overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 1999 NBA Draft

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

Source: GQ

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

Source: NBC Sports

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

Source: ESPN

Source: ESPN

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 didn't have his best statistical years in LA, but he won a title in 2010

He also got help off the court. After winning the title, he thanked his psychiatrist in a strangely touching postgame interview

He's still doing weird stuff, but it's mostly benign, like going on Jimmy Kimmel in his boxers

This fall, he'll be on Dancing With The Stars

Today, he officially became Metta World Peace

See another athlete change over time

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